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Akha and Indymedia Activist, from Salem, Arrested in Thailand

Matthew McDaniel is a Human Rights activist that has been living and working with the Akha tribe in Northern Thailand since 1991. Recently he also got involved in setting up an Indymedia in Thailand. Last week he got arrested at the border between Thailand and Burma and he is now being detained at a deportation centre in Bangkok.

According to an activist that recently travelled through Thailand Matthews arrest puts not only his family but the whole village in danger. "By his sheer presence and loud mouth he was the "protector" of the village, the police and military were reluctant to enter the village." According to a friend of Matthews the "village might be under attack" he said he doesn't know what the "Thai and the Burmese government are capable or willing to do".

Matthew McDaniel was arrested on 11:00 AM Thursday, April 15th at the Maisai Immigration Checkpoint while going to deliver vitamins to an Akha friend in Burma. Matthew McDaniel was fighting to save the land of Aooh Yok Akhe that was being taken by the government.

huts and forest background(used in thialand feat.)
huts and forest background(used in thialand feat.)
In January 2004, Matthew McDaniel officially filed a report with the U.N., citing 47 cases of murder, extra judicial killings, torture and other abuse by the Thai Army and Police against Hill Tribe People. For three weeks, Matthew McDaniel had heard serious rumours from leaks at the U.S. Embassy in Thailand that he was going to be deported. He complained via email to Embassy Personnel that such leaks were reckless and illegal and asked for the reports to be confirmed. However, the Embassy gave no reply, negligence that prevented Mr. McDaniel from making arrangements to protect himself and his wife from police abuse, arrest and deportation.

Matthew McDaniel's wife is pregnant and he has four children living in Chiang Rai. Matthew is currently held by the Thai Authorities at the Suan Phlu Immigration Detention Centre and awaiting deportation. He has been informed of the charges against him or been able to speak with a lawyer about his case. The U.S. Embassy has not sent a representative to discuss the status of his case or the possibility of stopping the deportation proceedings. For now, Mr. McDaniel waits, knowing his wife and children are at risk, and hoping that he can challenge the legality of his arrest and deportation through formal channels.

What You Can Do:

Write to your Nearest Thai Embassy and demand the immediate and unconditional release of Michael McDaniel! Demand an official apology from the Thai authorities.

Write your MP/Senator and demand a full inquiry into the arrest of Mr. McDaniel. If you are American, demand a full accounting from the U.S. embassy in Thailand for its failure to protect an American Human Rights Activist. Pass this article far and wide. Encourage international and local press to write articles, condemning the actions of the Thai authorities and calling for Matthews release.

If you happen to be in Thailand, you can visit him and speak with him directly during visiting hours at the Suan Phlu Immigration Detention Centre. To do so, you must arrive between 10:00-11:00 to receive a form. The doors open for visiting at 11:00, but it is good to be there early. Bring your passport, which you will have to check at the door. You can visit his room (2) from 11:00-12:00 and speak openly with him.

Visit www.akha.org for more information. Make a donation to the Akha projects. Deported or not the projects will continue. Read more about Mr. McDaniel and his fight to save the Akha people:For more information see Jim Pollard's article, "Akha Crusader: "US Activist Detained at Suan Phlu." The Nation. 18 April 2004.

Contact the Thai embassy in your country List of Thai embassies in the world: 1

homepage: homepage: http://www.indymedia.org/or/2004/04/110850.shtml


local info! 20.Apr.2004 14:46

surfer

ROYAL THAI CONSULATE-GENERAL
121 S.W. SALMON STREET, SUITE 1430
PORTLAND, OR 97204-2924
Tel : (503) 221-0440
Fax : (503) 221-0550
E-mail :  thai@siaminc.com
Honorary Consul, Mr. Nicholas J. Stanley

i just called the local consul 20.Apr.2004 14:55

PDXer

and the message said the office is open mon-thu, 12:30-4:30. i got the message even though it was 2:50ish when i called. i left a message that i had become aware of the detaining of mcdaniel, and that i wanted the consul to pass along to thai authorities that he should be released. i said that i am one among many people who are concerned about mcdaniel's safety and well-being, and who want to see his immediate release. i then thanked the consul in advance for passing this message along. i also left my name and phone number so it would seem legit.

what are the charges against him?! 20.Apr.2004 22:18

???

what are the specific charges, if any, against him? let me see if i can get this straight... he lives with hill people, documents dozens of murders and other crimes, and gets deported for reporting them? exactly WHO is behind this? it sounds to me like it might be the us government, but who am i to say?

thank you george w. bush.

detention without charges, Thailand 21.Apr.2004 18:11

Edith Mirante

The Thai immigration authorities do not need charges to detain you and deport you. I know, because the exact same thing happened to me, without charges, in 1988 because of my human rights investigations across the border in Burma (I wrote about it in "Burmese Looking Glass.")

Matthew has attracted the wrath of the dreadful, corrupt and murderous current Thai administration, and has also gone against the US backed war on drugs, and the Christian missionary establishment. All because he is standing up for a very isolated and endangered indigenous people, the Akha. Oregon should be proud of him.

Right now he is in a dreadful place, Bangok's appalling Suan Phlu detention center (and it is much worse for him than it was for me, as his wife and children are in Thailand and in danger.) Please do continue to publicize his case and contact the Thai consulate, press and US State Department. These actions do make a difference in situations like this!

...Are my methods unsound?... 26.Apr.2004 16:46

anon

I am just curious... how old is his wife in Thailand? Not to downplay his fight for the independence of these people, but I think we have all heard stories of westerners going out there to find young wives or escape problems in the US. Even some of his supporters don't seem to be to impressed with the guy.

 http://www.hackwriters.com/saveMathewMcDaniel.htm

what i know about mathew mc peterfle 27.Oct.2004 00:59

john ke mow _ the aussie who dont like peterfiles atomizeitfyou@yahoo.com

to all of you who like to hear the other side of the story or as some people would call it who know him well the truth behind the scam, ive been living in maesai for 10 years or more & used to be friendly with mathew untill it finally dawned on me that its all a fucken swindle, have yoy ever happened to see his ambulance which people donated money for him to buy to help the akhas? if you have you would realize that to be able to go to hospital in it if you had a broken leg say the only way you would get there is by cutting your leg off first, a total waste of money for a new toy so he can find another wife get her pregnant then when she has a baby give her 1,000baht a month & go off & look for another one, have you seen the photo of his or should i say one of his wifes who has a really badly scarred face from falling into a fire when she was a child, anyway he yousedto show a picture of her face on the internet to get more donations so she could get her face repaired, 2 doctors came over from europe willing to take her back there & operate for free if mathew payed the plane fare but when they came over mathew went & hid in the mountains until they couldnt wait around anymore, when he gets a good donation you can see him at one of the local whorehouses with a young lass very young lass thats how he figures hes helping them, ya know its not good to give people money unless they work for it so he figures hes helping them & sometimes it is even a young akha lass so hes really helping them a lot, if you have any doubts as to what im saying i live on top of a massage parlour & have been past 8 years & have seen him there many times hounding young akha girls until the boss has told him to fuck of he even had to move to chiang rai to catch more suckers because we were filling them in about im whenever we got the opportunity, but as his favorite saying goes theres a sucker born every minute & someones gonna get him or them better me than you ha ha ha, in the good old usa the piece of shit would have been in prison a long time ago , beware the man is very intelligent & has the gift of the gab, dont be fooled by is bulshit i have a lot of friends over here who know about his shit & we were suprised that he never got shot & that it took him so long to be deported, the akhas are good people i have a friend who is married to one & has been for a long time like e says theyve been living ok for thousands of years you think they need this fucking unit exploiting them, if you want to really help them you should look up on the internet for website about the queen of thailand who does a lot of work helping the poor people of thailand & she will not be living of your money either, dont be another sucker

Ridiculous 30.Apr.2006 09:40

JonathanU psycho1jau@hotmail.com

Matthew McDaniel does not have my support. He has debased all missionaries who are trying to improve the lives of the girls in those villages, by taking them to get an education for high risk girls who are in danger of being sold into prostitution. These girls have no hope except for these missionaries who rescue them from their villages. They will be sold into prostitution so that their parents can pocket the money. Yet he seems to think that we are taking away the girls culture by taking them out of their villages, totally overlooking the fact that if this didn't happen, they would be sold into prostitution.

Matthew McDaniel is a joke, and should rethink his position on these issues.