Joint Statement: Ending systematic violence against civilians in the Deep South
It could constitute a crime against humanity and a violation of international law.
2 March 2017
On 2 Mar 2017 at 7.00 am, unidentified armed group has shot 4 Buddhist civilians death; one men, two women and one 8th year old boy including injured 12th year old girl in one incident. The violent incident took place in Koksato Sub district, Rusoh District, Narathiwat Province. They were on the way from home to school.
On 28 February 2017, while peace a negotiation meeting between Majlis Syura Patani (MARA Patani) and the Thai government was going on in Malaysia with regard to an agreement on safe zone, violence has erupted in the Southern Border Provinces and claimed two lives of innocent people, the vehicle robbery and murder of a couple and their vehicle has later been made into a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED). The incidence took place in a rubber plantation in Moo 6, Tambon Tha Muang, Thepha District, Songkhla.
The act was a violation of both national laws and human rights standards. It has not just deprived of the lives and properties, but has also eroded public trust of measures to provide for safety and security. Local people’s economic security has also been compromised as they have become too fearful to do rubber tapping in early morning, the activity of which is a daily routine and is pivotally essential to livelihood of people in the Southern Border Provinces.
The undersigned human rights organizations deem that violence against civilians in any forms and committed by whatever parties could constitute a crime against humanity and a violation of international law. In addition, Thailand is a signatory to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (CEDAW) and more importance has been placed on the protection of women and children in armed conflict situation all over the world. This has been attested to, among others, by the UN Security Council Resolution no. 1325 on Women, Peace and Security which provides against the use of violence against children and women and demands that militias and security forces ensure that women and girls shall be protected against such violence.
The human rights organizations including the Patani Human Rights Organization, the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) and Duay Jai Group would like to convey our deepest condolence to the families of the victims and condemn such use of violence against civilians and vulnerable groups including women. Meanwhile, we appreciate the performance of duties of the security officials to prevent such violent incidences from happening and would like to make the following demands to all parties;
- The perpetrators in this case must be brought to justice through a process compliant with the due process of law and human rights standards.
- All those using and abetting violence against innocent people, all groups of civilians, particularly children and women, must stop their acts.
- Concerned authorities with the obligations to protect and ensure the right to life of the people must in earnest explore ways to prevent such incidences
- We demand all parties adhere to nonviolence to solving problems of unrest in the Southern Border Provinces.