Thailand: Stop Threatening Activists in the South

15Feb09

armed-forcesThe Thai military should immediately end the intimidation of human rights defenders in the southern border provinces, Human Rights Watch said today.

Growing reports of abuses and illegal tactics by the security forces seriously undermine the credibility of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who has vowed to bring justice to the conflict-ridden region.

Early in the morning of February 8, 2009, about 20 soldiers and police raided the office of the Working Group for Peace and Justice (WGPJ) in Pattani province and intimidated personnel. WGPJ is a nongovernmental organization that reports on human rights abuses in the southern border provinces, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, and torture.

Since the outbreak of violence in Thailand’s southern border provinces in January 2004, a number of human rights defenders have been arrested, tortured, “disappeared,” and murdered, allegedly by the security forces. None of these cases have been successfully investigated to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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