11 May 2015
Update: Human rights defender Muhammad Yaki Salae released
On the evening of 7 May 2015, human rights defender Mr Muhammad Yaki Salae was released from detention following the refusal of Yala Provincial Court to permit an extension of his time in confinement.
Muhammad Yaki Salae is the Chairperson of the Justice for Peace Network (JOP), founded in 2006 as a network of human rights and peace activists aiming to strengthen non-violent efforts to protect human rights, promote access to justice, and end impunity in Thailand. The JOP engages in human rights monitoring and advocacy while supporting victims of human rights violations in their fight for justice. Their work is focuses on the empowerment of local communities in the far south of Thailand, to aid them in their struggle for the realisation of their human rights.
Muhammad Yaki Salae was released from the Ingkhayuth Boriham Army Camp in Tambon Bor Thong, Nongchik District, Pattani on the evening of 7 May 2015. His release had been ordered by the Yala Provincial Court earlier on the same day, in line with its rejection of an application made by the police investigator for the extension of Muhammad Yaki Salae’s detention. The Court ruled that no individual should be detained without clear charge against him or her, and called on law enforcement officers to exercise their duties in full respect of the law and human rights principles, as provided in Announcement No. 98/2014 of the Thai National Peace and Order Maintaining Council. According to this reasoning, the detention of Muhammad Yaki Salae was arbitrary, as police could not provide any charges against him.
Muhammad Yaki Salae’s detention for interrogation had been extended on 2 May 2015 by an emergency decree permitting suspects to be held in detention for up to 30 days, subsequent to the expiry of the 7 day period allowed under Martial Law.
Front Line Defenders welcomes the release of Muhammad Yaki Salae and the decision of Yala Provincial Court in support of human rights principles, but reiterates its concern at the growth of arbitrary detention as a tool for the harassment of human rights defenders in Thailand.