Southeast Asia Bureau Chief
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Aug 23, 2014

U.S. hostage rescuers dropped from night sky: Syria activist

BEIRUT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It was just after midnight on July 4 when at least two dozen U.S. Delta Force commandos arrived on heavily armed Black Hawk helicopters in Akrishi, a small town near the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa on the bank of the Euphrates River.

Before they landed to search for American hostages including journalist James Foley, they destroyed a crucial target: anti-aircraft weapons at a jihadist base about 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the city, a stronghold of Islamic State militants seeking to build a monolithic Islamic state.

Aug 22, 2014

U.S. hostage rescuers dropped from night sky, Syria activist says

BEIRUT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It was just after midnight on July 4 when at least two dozen U.S. Delta Force commandos arrived on heavily armed Black Hawk helicopters in Akrishi, a small town near the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa on the bank of the Euphrates River.

Before they landed to search for American hostages including journalist James Foley, they destroyed a crucial target: anti-aircraft weapons at a jihadist base about 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the city, a stronghold of Islamic State militants seeking to build a monolithic Islamic state.

Jan 31, 2014

How Thaksin’s meddling sparked a new Thai crisis for PM sister

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Yingluck Shinawatra’s journey from political nobody to prime minister was breathtakingly swift. Her premiership’s descent into crisis has been just as rapid.

A political neophyte when she took office in 2011, the 46-year-old former business executive surprised many observers by steadying Thailand after years of often bloody political unrest.

Jan 31, 2014

Insight: How Thaksin’s meddling sparked a new Thai crisis for PM sister

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Yingluck Shinawatra’s journey from political nobody to prime minister was breathtakingly swift. Her premiership’s descent into crisis has been just as rapid.

A political neophyte when she took office in 2011, the 46-year-old former business executive surprised many observers by steadying Thailand after years of often bloody political unrest.

Dec 13, 2013

Powerful forces revealed behind Thai protest movement

BANGKOK (Reuters) – His whistle-tooting crowds of supporters are dwindling. His threats against Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra veer from the bold to the bizarre.

But behind Thailand’s fiery anti-government protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, are two powerful retired generals with palace connections, a deep rivalry with the Shinawatra family and an ability to influence Thailand’s coup-prone armed forces.

Dec 6, 2013

U.N. calls for urgent investigation after Reuters Rohingya report

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The United Nations called on Friday for an urgent investigation into allegations in a Reuters report that Thai immigration officials moved Myanmar refugees into human trafficking rings.

The report, published on Thursday and based on a two-month investigation in three countries, revealed a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand’s immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.

Dec 5, 2013
via FaithWorld

Special Report – Thailand dumps Myanmar’s Muslim refugees into trafficking rings

Photo

(Bozor Mohammed from the Rakhine state in Myanmar is pictured after an interview at his house in Kuala Lumpur November 8, 2013. Picture taken November 8. To match Special Report THAILAND-ROHINGYA/ REUTERS/Samsul Said)

One afternoon in October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

Dec 5, 2013

Special Report: Thailand secretly dumps Myanmar refugees into trafficking rings

RANONG, Thailand (Reuters) – One afternoon in October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

Thai immigration officials said he was being deported to Myanmar. In fact, they sold Ismail, 23, and hundreds of other Rohingya Muslims to human traffickers, who then spirited them into brutal jungle camps.

Dec 5, 2013

Thailand’s anti-trafficking effort loses steam

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department is gathering information for its next Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report, due to be published in June. It ranks countries on their efforts to combat human trafficking. Thailand faces an automatic downgrade to Tier 3, the lowest rank, unless it makes “significant efforts” to improve its record, the State Department says.

In an interview with Reuters, Police Maj-Gen Chatchawal Suksomjit of the Royal Thai Police defended Thailand’s record for investigating and prosecuting traffickers and the Thai officials who help them.

Dec 4, 2013

Thailand secretly dumps Myanmar refugees into trafficking rings

RANONG, Thailand, Dec 5 (Reuters) – One afternoon in
October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and
Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

Thai immigration officials said he was being deported to
Myanmar. In fact, they sold Ismail, 23, and hundreds of other
Rohingya Muslims to human traffickers, who then spirited them
into brutal jungle camps.

    • About Jason

      "As Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, Jason Szep manages text, pictures and television news operations across 10 countries for Reuters. He has been a Reuters correspondent, bureau chief and editor since 1990 and won the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award in 2007. He is a Boston native and has had postings with Reuters in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Boston and Bangkok. His assignments have ranged from Kabul and Islamabad to the U.S. presidential campaign trail during the 2008 election."
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