Thousands of Rohingya have been forced to flee violence, driven by an extreme Buddhist ideology in Burma. On route to Malaysia, many fall prey to unscrupulous human smugglers, and face slave labour in Thailand.
On a beach in Thailand 200 Rohingya boat people are tied up and surrounded by soldiers. It's an image which taps into allegations that Rohingya refugees are forced into slavery or ransomed for money. "Sixty thousand bath? He not have money", says Durman, whose Rohingya relative is being kept captive in the jungle. A Burmese pogrom against the Rohingya is forcing many to flee the country in unseaworthy boats. They often end up in Thailand where they disappear into a network of prison camps. Mohammad, who escaped, describes the "torture" that he was subjected to for months. The human trade is allegedly conducted with the assistance of the police and military. A senior police officer admits he's heard reports of officials getting involved: "I have seriously investigated this issue. But I still do not have any evidence". Chutima, a journalist investigating the trafficking, and the involvement of Thai officials, is heartbroken. "It's worse and worse, day by day. Nobody cares".