Thai authorities say they have deported about 1,300 of Rohingya boat people to Myanmar late last year, ignoring calls from human rights groups not to send the ethnic minorities home where they face widespread discrimination.

Police. Lt. Gen. Pharnu Kerdlarpphon says the deportations were announced this week but took place in waves from September through November. He says the asylum seekers were held in detention centers and shelters across the country.

Muslim Rohingyas face discrimination in Myanmar, where sectarian violence has left hundreds dead and more than 140,000 displaced from their homes.

Since last January, more than 1,700 Rohingya have been arrested in Thailand after their boats ran aground.

Pharnu said eight of the people detained died from diseases, while others fled the shelters or were sent to Bangladesh.