Thai Administrative Court will rule the case filed by Patani population against NBTC due to cutting off mobile phone signals during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

Thai Administrative Court will rule the case filed by Patani population against NBTC due to cutting off mobile phone signals during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

CrCF News Report

The Administrative Court accepted a case where the people of the Patani southern provinces filed a case against NBTC for cutting off mobile phone signal during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

In December 2020, the Administrative Court notified to CrCF that the Court accepted the complaint, and this case is No.1766/2020 related to the suspension of phone signals in the three southern border provinces. The court gave the order to accept the complaint for consideration on December 2, 2020 now it is in the administrative court procedure.

After six months of consideration, it resulted in this strategic case will help in protecting the rights which have been violated of the people that had their phone signal cut off due to them not registering their mobile phone SIM with face recognition.  Due to the “Song Chae” policy, which placed in addition to regular registration. This resulted in citizens in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and areas in Songkhla province to not be able to use their phones for calls and internet.

Mr. Preeda Nakpiew, Human Rights Attorney at the Cross Cultural Foundation, and is the attorney of the prosecutor who is domiciled in the southern border provinces filed a lawsuit with the Central Administrative Court against the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission for cutting off the phone signal. The petition dated on July 2, 2020, said people who had their phone signal cut off suffered a lot, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the lawsuit filed a request for the Administrative Court to revoke the NBTC’s announcements, regulations, requirements, or orders related to phone signal cutting.

The case follows the situation where at least four mobile phone  service providers cut off their prepaid mobile phone signals in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and four districts in Songkhla Province. The mobile phone signal has been cut off from the petitioner’s number from May 8, 2020 until the present, with a text message (SMS) informed on the mobile phone after the person made a call but was unable to call that “Your number is temporarily unavailable because this SIM Card has not been registered with the user verification system in the southern border provinces by 30 April 2020. Bring the SIM card as well as your NACC card and contact AIS Shop / Telewiz / AIS Buddy / AIS agent or register yourself at home, press * 165 * 5 * NACC card number # Call> wait for SMS> follow the steps. The number will be valid within 1 hour.”

Mr. Suraphong Kongchantuek, president of the Cross Cultural Foundation, said the telephone signal cut off was an unlawful administrative order, due to its nature as a human rights violation and discrimination, since citizens in the southern provinces have already done regular registration (ID card), but they had to registration again on special conditions for use in certain areas, as well as cutting off phone signals during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially harsh as mobile phones in the modern day are indispensable factors of life. Thus, it is important to accept these complaints from the victims who have suffered, so that the people who have the authority can perform their duties fairly and with justice, and to ensure that this does not happen again?. Further information at:  https://www.ilaw.or.th/node/5760

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