Updated and released on 03 Feb 2019
Today on 3 Feb 2019, after 7 days of detention without charges under Martial law, the 7 Cambodia students out of 11 have been informed of the charge of overstay or no passport. They were transferred from Ingkhayuthborihan Army Camp to Mayo District police station today at around 14.50 according to FACEBOOK Page BeritaSelatan. However, there is no information where about they were detained after informing the charge related to immigration law.
One Cambodia student was released due to his valid passport and visa. The other three Cambodia student under 18 years old were detained at Juvenile detention in Pattani, there is no information whether they have been released or not.
Ps. while being detained at Ingkhayuthborihan Army Camp they were not allowed for any outside visit since the regulation under the Martial law limited the visitors to only family members.
Statement released on 31 Jan 2019
Stop using militarization in schools
Use civilian and multidisciplinary teams is needed
On 28 January 2019 around 22.30 at AL. Falah Pattani Pondok school, no. 4, Moo 4 ,Tambon Thanon, Mayor District, Pattani, security officers have conducted a cordon and search operation and arrested more than ten individuals. One of the arrestees was Mr. Saudi Laomeng, 50, owner of the school who has been released on 30 Jan 2019. It has been reported that DNA samples of more than 30 individuals have also been collected invoking Martial Law including 11 students from Cambodia from 16-40 years who either had no passports or had expired passports.
At least six armed military officers from Taskforce 42 have conducted such unannounced raid in the School and forced the owner to help search all student rooms. No illicit objects have been found, though. According to the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 Forward, the search and arrests have been carried out as there was some information that the individuals were suspects who were practicing “hand-to-hand combat”several nights consecutively at this Pondok school. The President of Pondok Schools in the Five Southern Border Provinces, Mr. Southern Border Provinces, has come out to affirm that the suspicious activity was in fact a traditional game of the Cambodians. The 11 Cambodian students were held in custody for interrogation at the Ingkhayutthaborihan military camp in Pattani’s Nong Chik district since 28 Jan 2018.
Photos of the incidence published by the media attest to the fact that harsh and excessive force has been used by certain officers against the arrestees. It has constituted a dehumanizing act and prompted a climate of fear in educational institutions which are supposed to be a safe place for civilians in all circumstances even in the midst of armed conflict.
The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) appreciate a good intention by the Taskforce 42 under ISOC 4 to maintain safety of the public. Nevertheless, CrCF would like to offer certain observations regarding the incidence and the use of military operations to contain situations in Islamic Schools which stands in contrast to the intention to maintain security of the public as follows;
- Even though the operation has been conducted by security measure on the students’ suspicious activities at night in AL. Falah Pattani Pondok school, they should first verify such information by asking from various persons including the owner or the caretaker of the school. Gentle approaches could have been adopted to maintain safety of the nearby community without having to resort to military actions as required by Martial Law.
- An arrest can certainly be made should the suspect commit a flagrant offence, or the suspect makes an attempt to flee. Nevertheless, according to information from witnesses obtained by CrCF, even when the students were running around unprovoked with fun, the officers have instructed them to lay face down and have their arms twisted behind their backs. Net gun have also been used to apprehend the students. Such act constitutes an excessive use of force and is disproportionate to the youth who are vulnerable.
- Careful attention should have been paid to the distribution of photos taken during the operation to media. If such photos have been distributed without proper screening from concerned agencies, it could have led to stigma on the persons who appear in the photos and it could be an infringement of their human rights.
- The deprivation of liberty of a child younger than 18 years, regardless of their nationality and even when Martial Law is invoked, should be conducted according to the Juvenile and Family Court and Procedure Act BE 2553. At first, all students are still held in the custody of the military at the Ingkhayutthaborihan military camp without any charge. CrCF is concerned about proper treatment of a child that has to be done as required by the international obligations Thailand has with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as a state member and other rights to due process.
- Until now, military authorities have implemented many measures including raid and search to control a number of Pondok schools and Tadika schools. Certain security units have asked for time to teach the students in the class. Score of teachers in Tadika schools have been rounded up causing many such schools to have no male teachers. Lately, there was also an arrest made against a female Tadika teacher. Such measures have caused fear, a lack of trust and hostility toward the state.
CrCF would like to urge the authorities to change their measures to monitor and control by using civilian units instead of military forces. The civilian units should be encouraged to take the lead to develop local education on par with the standard to serve the interest of the children and youth and to forge mutual trust between the public and the state in a long run.
For more information, please contact 02-1015481-2