For immediate release on 18 October 2016
Call for Release five individuals from arbitrary detention immediately
: Regarding the car bomb raid of people
from the Southern Border Provinces who live in Bangkok and their further detention in Pattani
From 10-15 October 2016, combined forces with war weapons have conducted a cordon and search operation to apprehend individuals living in Ramkhamhaeng university area in Bangkok. Ramkhamhaegn university has quite a number of those people who come from the Southern Border Provinces and live in Bangkok. They have been rounded up and incarcerated in various detention facilities, altogether 44 of them including eight females and 36 males, some of whom are as young as 18. The security forces claim it was an operation to block a planned sabotage to mark the anniversary of the suppression of the Tak Bai demonstrations (25 Oct 2004 incident killed 84 peoples) per the policy to stay vigilant to any potential terrorist acts. The raids have been reported that some of the individuals have been released without charges, though the rest continue to be deprived of liberty, five of whom had been detained at the temporary prison inside the Nakhon Chai Sri 11th Military Circle by the order of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)
Initially, it was found that the five individuals were apprehended by the officials at a place in Ramkhamhaeng area on 10 October 2016 and later were pressed with charges related to have in possession of Mitragynine (Krathom). Invoking the NCPO Order no. 13/2559, they had been detained at the temporary prison inside the Nakhon Chai Sri 11th Military Circle in Bangkok since 11 October 2016. Their detention per the NCPO Order no. 13/2559 would expire within seven days on 17 October 2016. But it turned out that the security authorities refused to let them go.
On the same day, the NCPO’s spokesperson has admitted to continuing to have the five individuals incarcerated, though it was not clear as to which law had been invoked to hold them up further on. It was simply claimed that further detention was necessary to enable the officials to complete their task. Around 18.30 the same day, the security authorities have allowed relatives of the five individuals to meet them prior to transferring them for further detention at the Pattani’s Ingkhayuth Borihan Army Camp. On 18 October 2016, the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) has been informed that the military officials transferred the five individuals over the night of 17 October 2016 for further detention at the Pattani’s Ingkhayuth Borihan Army Camp. They have arrived later on 18 October at around 4 pm.
The arrest and detention of the individuals have caused concerns among their relatives and general public, particularly in the Southern Border Provinces. Such blanket operation has elicited fear and outcries for such excessive action which has led to gross violation of fundamental human rights. It reflects negative attitude of the authorities toward the local people in the Southern Border Provinces. It has been reported as well that during 10-15 October 2016, when the 44 individuals were still placed under arbitrary detention without being charged, they had been denied access to their relatives who had also been not informed about their whereabouts and their wellbeing. When their relatives had for the first time asked to visit them, their request was simply denied.
The deprivation of a person’s liberty can be done subject to an applicable law only. Even though the authorities have claimed to invoke Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to carry out the raid and arrest and to invoke the NCPO Orders no, 3/2558 and 13/2559 to hold them up for seven days, such actions have to be carried out with respect on human rights of the individuals detained, i.e., their relatives must be informed of their whereabouts, access to their relatives and lawyers must be granted, and access to independent medical personnel must be granted immediately when the individuals are in need of medical care. In fact, after they had been detained for seven days per the NCPO Order, they should have been released, otherwise, they had to be criminally charged and brought to the Court to face justice. In addition, when a person is detained, they must be informed of their charges and their rights as an alleged offender as provided for by law.
That the authorities claimed the necessity to have them further detained to enable them to complete their task sounds too vague and could not be attributed to any legal provisions. It is also a violation of their fundamental human rights. The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) demands that the government and the NCPO have to release the five individuals immediately. Should they want to take legal action against them, they have to proceed according to the Criminal Procedure Code. Upon receiving the individuals from the NCPO, the Fourth Army Area must have them released immediately. And if they want to criminalize the individuals, the army has to proceed according to the Criminal Procedure Code.
18 October 2016
Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)