For immediate release on 11 January 2019
Armed attack in school and fatal hanging of owner of vehicle used in car bomb are a violation of domestic and international laws
At 11.50 am, on 10 January 2019, an unknown number of unidentified perpetrators have fired shots into the defence volunteers stationed at Buko School, Moo 5, Tambon Prachan, in Pattani province’s Yarang district causing four fatalities among the defence volunteers including (1) Sulaiman Wae-useng, (2) Muhammad Taeteng, (3) Abdulloh Salae, and (4) Bueraheng Jing.
According to the authorities, prior to the incidence, the defence volunteers were performing their duties to maintain safety in the school. An unknown number of unidentified perpetrators cladding military ranger uniform have turned up, initially pretending to visit and talk to the defence volunteers. As the defence volunteers became more relaxed, the perpetrators have fired shots causing fourth deaths among the defence volunteers. They also took away four HK-33 rifles which belonged to the slain officers.
The shooting of defence volunteers who were performing their duty in school compromises safety in life of students and educators. It has greatly terrified them and will certainly affect their quality of life in the future. It is tantamount to a violation of the rights of the child. The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) condemns such armed attack and murder targeting either civilians or armed civilians. It is a grave crime and a breach to both domestic law and international law.
The act of the armed group is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and also humanitarian law including the Geneva Conventions. If conducted persistently, pervasively and systematically, such act would be tantamount to a crime against humanity and is a violation of both domestic law and international law. The perpetrators and superior officers or commanding officers including non-state actors have to be held liable through a domestic criminal court or the International Criminal Court.
In addition, in 2012, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has issued recommendations to the Thai government reiterating that the government should develop measures to protect children in the Southern Border Provinces against direct and indirect violence in the area. The government has also been urged to keep schools safe from attacks by non-state armed groups and to prevent the deployment of security forces and military troops in school. The armed attack has shed light on a failure to act in compliance with major obligations to provide protection to children in armed conflict areas.
Also, on 8 January 2019, a 61-year-old man was found hung to death and his car was stolen and used for making a car bomb close to the Songkhla Special Taskforce of the 43rd Border Patrol Police. The explosion has injured six officials. At least six local villagers have been held in custody as suspects. They came from Songkhla Province’s Sabayoy District which is outside the area under Martial Law. As of now, the six suspects are still held in custody at Pattani Province’s Ingkhayutthaborihan Army Camp invoking Martial Law.
CrCF would like to offer our deepest condolence to the families of those who have been killed and injured in these incidences and have the following demands to make.
- Violence against civilians, particularly children and women has to stop immediately and unconditionally in school, religious sites, markets and communities. The areas, albeit located in armed conflict territory, are for common usage of civilians.
- All parties are urged to peacefully work out solutions to the conflicts at the individual, community and national levels. The state is urged to stick to a peaceful means and to develop measures to effectively ensure public safety.
- On the path toward sustainable peace, all parties should respect human rights and international humanitarian law. Truth has to be told while perpetrators have to be brought to justice. Restriction must be put in place to limit the use of violence to suppress insurgency and the rule of law should be strictly upheld.
For more information, please contact Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, 02-1015481-2