26 July three human rights defenders set to meet inquiry official at the Muang Pattani Police Station in the defamation case filed against them by the ISOC Region 4 Forward as a result of their launching the torture report of the Deep South
On 17 May 2016, the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 (ISOC 4) Forwards has reported a case with the inquiry official at the Muang Pattani Police Station alleging that Mr. Somchai Homlaor, Ms. Pornpen Khongkachonkiet and Ms. Anchana Heemmina, the three Human Rights Defenders had committed a criminal defamation and a violation of the 2007 Computer Crimes Act.
The three HRDS were accused of publishing and distributing a report on the torture and ill, degrading and inhumane treatment in the Deep South between 2014 and 2015 and for bringing into computer system false information via the website https://voicefromthais.wordpress.com/. The summonses were issued for them since 8 June 2016, and they were supposed to turn themselves in on 26 June 2016, though they had asked to postpone it to 26 July 2016.
On 26 July 2016, the three HRDs will meet Pol Lt Col Winyou Thiamrat, inquiry official of the Muang Pattani Police Station to hear the charges against them and carry with their defence later on.
The report “Torture and ill treatment in The Deep South Documented in 2014-2015” was an attempt to echo the situation in local area and by doing so, the three HRDs hope it will help to solve the problem of torture in the Deep South. Since the start of unrest, a range of special laws have been enforced including Martial Law and the Emergency Decree on Government Administration in States of Emergency B.E. 2548 (2005) to bestow on the authorities extra power to carry out the arrest and detention of people. Even though it aims to quell insurgency, but undeniably, it has also led to the situation in which some officials have executed their power arbitrarily giving rise to the acts of torture and/or violations of rights and liberties in various forms. The facts are attested to be incidences of tortures committed by state officials as reported now and then including some suspects in security related cases have been found dead while in military custody or other official custody. If the problem fails to be tackled, it will simply ramp up more violence in the Deep South.
This case has attracted extensive attention from national and international rights organizations since the three activists have been playing important roles in the protection of human rights in the Deep South for a long time. Still, they are being taken to court by the authorities. It will also be another test of the Thai judiciary system as to how much understanding they have toward the roles of HRDs and the issue of torture in Thailand.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Abdulawae Puteh 081-898-7408 Attorney of the three alleged offenders
Mr. Preeda Nakphew 089-622-2474 CrCF’s attorney
Ms. Nutthasiri Bergman 085-1208077 CrCF’s attorney