For immediate release on 23 March 2018
CrCF submitting a letter urging Department of Special Investigation (DSI)
to investigate two cases of alleged torture while in custody
in military camp in Pattani
On 22 March 2018, the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) has submitted a letter of petition to the Director General of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) urging the authority to investigate the complaints CrCF received from relatives of two individuals who have alleged to have been tortured while in custody in a military barrack in Pattani.
Both individuals resided in the Southern Border Provinces where special laws are put in place. Both cases took place almost concurrently in February 2018 in Pattani. The victims reported that their houses were cordoned off by the officers and they were then arrested and had some of their assets seized. They were then transferred and held in custody in a Ranger Taskfroce unit in the compound of the Ingkhayuthborihan Army Camp for seven days after which they were transferred to another interrogation center in the same military barrack.
The first victim was held in custody invoking special laws from 14 February to 19 March and was then further remanded in the Central Prison of Pattani. The second victim was held in custody from 20 February to 22 March and now is detained at the Yarang Police Station in Pattani. He could be further remanded in custody pending the order of the Court.
CrCF has submitted the letter of petition to the Director General of DSI who has been appointed as Chairperson of the Sub-committee to monitor and investigate cases of victims of torture and enforced disappearance per the order of the Office of the Prime Minister no. 131/2560 on 23 May 2017. The authority is urged to review the complaint and to act according to its mandates. The complaint has been properly received by DSI. We have also brought the two cases to the attention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
According to the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Rights and Liberties Protection, the Draft Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearances Act has been endorsed by the State Council, the cabinet, the Coordinating Committee of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and another committee of the NLA, respectively. At the NLA’s committee level, a vetting committee has been formed to review the Bill and the committee noted on five issues including the definition, criminalization, emergency situation, non refoulement, jurisdiction and command responsibility. The Bill has been now tabled for public consultation, after which it will be read by the NLA further on.
While an act of torture and enforced disappearance is still not criminalized, the Office of the Prime Minister has issued an order no. 131/2560 on 23 May 2017 to set up a committee to deal with complaints regarding an act of torture and enforced disappearance. For more information, please see https://www.moj.go.th/view/15438.