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CrCF and MAC
Open Letter No. 3

15 June 2012

Subject Review of the renewal of Emergency Decree in the Southern Border Provincesurged

Attention HE the Prime Minister

CC: 1. Secretary General of National Security Council (NSC)

2. House Speaker

3. President of the Senate

Attachments 1. Open Letter no.1 “Renewal of the EmergencyDecree Should be Reviewed” dated 14 September 2011

2.Open Letter no.2 “Renewal of the Emergency Decree Should be Reviewed”dated 12 March 2012

On 13 March 2012, the cabinet endorsedthe renewal of the enforcement of the Emergency Decree for three months in thethree Southern Border Provinces including Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. The 27threnewal shall be effective from 20 March to 19 June 2012.

The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)and Muslim Attorney Centre Foundation (MAC) would like to bring to theattention of the Prime Minister the information and opinion stated in OpenLetter No. 1 and 2 dated 14 September 2011 and 12 March 2012, respectively. Inthe two letter, you are asked to review the impact of the renewal of theEmergency Decree, prior to endorsing its another renewal for three months, asthe law has been effective in the Southern Border Provinces for eight years ina row. An objection to the renewal of the law has been stated including thefollowing;

1. On1 May 2012, General Yutthasak Sasiprabha, Deputy PM, was appointed by thecabinet as the

Chairperson of the Committee toMobilize Policy and Strategy to Solve Problems in the Southern BorderProvinces. On 17 May 2012, a workshop was convened by theChairperson among high ranking officers from 17 concerned Ministries and 66agencies including agencies at the policy level working on administration inthe Southern Border Provinces such as the National Security Council (NSC), theSouthern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) and the InternalSecurity Operations Command (ISOC). An agreement has been reached among theexecutive officers to implement nine point integrated policy set out by SBPACwith an emphasis on development and the six point strategy of ISOC to ensuresecurity under the 2012-2015 Strategic Framework to Solve Problems in theSouthern Border Provinces proposed by NSC.

2. Evidencebased information has been obtained by both Foundations that SBPAC has been

implementing policy to enhancedevelopment through nurturing understanding and minimizing causes of conflict.Access to remedies has been made available to people who have been affected bythe unrest including those affected by the enforcement of special laws. Somehave been subjected to human rights abuse while being held in custody invokingthe specials laws including torture, enforced disappearance, unlawfuldetention, and extrajudicial killing. That the persons held in custody havebeen subsequently released and have not been prosecuted reflects the impact ofthe enforcement of special laws including the infringement on the right tofreedom and security. In addition, the Foundations have found that insofarSBPAC has initiated the revision of local ordinances, rules and regulationswhich are inappropriate to the cultural identity of the local Muslim sistersand brothers. By the virtue of such revision, their identity has beenrecognized on par with provisions in the Constitution and internationalstandards, and that has paved the way for bigger public space to dialogue forpeace.

3. Asfor plans to ensure security, the Foundations have found that both governmentalofficials and

civilians have still be victims ofviolence and the loss of life and damage of property has continued unabated.Meanwhile, the preemptive measures and the suppression methods based oninvoking law to arrest and hold in custody suspects have led to restriction ofpeople’s rights and freedom as well as infringement on the right to justiceprocess including access to lawyer and relatives and a lack of transparencyduring the inquiries.

4. Thearrest and holding in custody of students and activists in the province of Yalain May 2012 has

prompted student groups to demand anexplanation from security agencies since those students and activists detainedhad been working actively to demand a lift of the Emergency Decree. They deemthat the law bears impact on people’s daily life and leads to restriction ofrights and freedom and is not effective in addressing the unrest. The arrestand detention simply sends out ripples of intimidation among local people whoare active in demanding a lift of the special law which causes infringement ofpeople’s rights. Lately, the student groups have led a nonviolent action tosubmit and letter of petition to representatives of Organization of IslamicConference (OIC) urging them to negotiate with the Royal Thai Government inorder to review the enforcement of Emergency Decree. The OIC representativeshave promptly expressed their concern upon receiving the letter and expressedtheir similar concern to the RTG concerning impact of the enforcement ofEmergency Decree which has led to complaints of human rights abuse. They havealso shared their views and recommendations to through the press urging theThai authorities to review the enforcement of the Emergency Decree and toresort to solutions based on nonviolence and development.

5. TheFoundations have found that the implementation of policy by SBPAC and ISOCcontinues to lack

congruency with the restriction ofright to freedom and right to justice process as a result of the enforcement ofEmergency Decree. That shall simply minimize the chance to establish peace inthe Southern Border Provinces.

Therefore, the Cross CulturalFoundation (CrCF) and Muslim Attorney Centre Foundation (MAC) would like to urge the government toexperiment with the three month moratorium of the Emergency Decree in order toallow the administrative agencies including SBPAC to carry out their activitiesbased on the strategy to enhance development and peace through nonviolence. Theinformation obtained shall be useful to review the necessity of the enforcementof the Emergency Decree. In addition, it shall help to increase confidence in asustainable and stable ASEAN community and help to set out cooperationframework to address security issues faced by both the states and people inASEAN in the near future.

Thank youvery much.

Yours sincerely,

(Ms. PornpenKhongkachonkiet) (Mr.KitchaAli-ishoh)
Cross Cultural Foundation(CrCF), Director Muslim AttorneyCentre Foundation (MAC), Secretary