Access to Justice and Legal Protection Project Cross Cultural Foundation As of September 2008. The first enquiry of a missing case in Yala Provincial Court On Thursday 18 September 2008
Disappearances: there is no access to justice for relatives of the persons who have disappeared in the south of Thailand. Five cases of disappearances have been documented since June 2007.
Some action has been taken with respect to the case of Mr. Mayateh Maranoh who has been missing since 24th June 2007.
Yala Court starts proceedings on the first case of disappearance brought before it
On 20 Aug 2008, lawyers on behalf of wife of Mr. Mayateh Maranoh submitted a motion under Section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code to the Yala Provincial Court, requesting the Court to conduct an enquiry about the whereabouts of Mr. Mayateh who went missing since he was picked up by the military on 24th June 2007. Mr. Mayateh was a school keeper of Banglang School in Bajoh sub-district, Bannangstra District, Yala Province.
After submission of the motion, on the same day, the Court called Mr. Mayateh’s wife to give her testimony before the Court. In her testimony Mr. Mayateh’s wife described that her husband was picked up by the military on 24th June in front of her and her two sons (11 years and 3 years). The military also took away Mr. Mayateh’s pick-up truck. Since that day, Mr. Mayateh has not returned home.
Mr. Mayateh’s wife decided to take legal action in an attempt to seek justice. She and her family are anxious to know as to what happened to Mr. Mayateh and whether he is still alive or dead. Since his disappearance the family has gone through a lot of suffering, psychological suffering as well as economic hardships. Mayateh’s wife has been repaying the loan taken from the Yala Teacher’s Cooperative for the car and the house. She has also stopped receiving the salary of Mr. Mayateh. It is not known as to who ordered the payment of salary to be stopped and for what reason.
On 21 Aug 2008 the Yala Provincial Court summoned the head of Para-military Unit 41 to testify before the court on 18 September 2008.
Details of 5 missing cases since June 2007 – July 2008
1. Mr. M. M, 40 years old , disappeared on 24 June 2007. Mr. M.M cfrom his house 20 Village no. 2, Kawoh Sub-district, Raman District, Yala Province. Mr. M.M was a school keeper of Banglan School. A group of military officers had surrounded his house and questioned him three times about arson in schools. On June 24th, a group of military officers took Mr. M.M away. One of the military officers also drove his car away. The officers did not inform his wife who was present at the time, as to where they are taking her husband. Since then, there has been no information about Mr. M.M’s whereabouts.
The case has been reported to Department of Special Investigation, Ministry of Justice (Thailand) and DSI refused to conduct further investigation of the case as a special case. The wife has to shoulder the heavy debts incurred by her husband from Yala Teacher’s Cooperative.
2. Mr. M.L, 30 years old, went missing on 11 July 2007 from Tambon Tohloh-Halo, Raman District, Yala Province. He disappeared from his wife’s family house at Rusoh District of Narathivath province. He was doing a rubber timber business in the said area. He was taken away from the house by an influential group linked to a local district headman.
The case has been reported to DSI and DSI accepted the case for further investigation as special case. However, family members have never been contacted for any information.
1. Mr. W.W, went missing on 2 Nov 2007 at 6.00 pm from Moo 4 Bananstar,Bannanstar District, Yala. Two men came to his house by a DMac pick up looking for him. They were calling out his name. His wife and wife’s brother were also present in the house when Mr. W.W was taken away. The family remembers that the two men (in uniform and with arms) mentioned “The police station” and said that they would like to take Mr. W.W there. That was the last time when his wife and family members saw Mr. W.W
The case was reported to local police (s) but no further investigation done. The family is seeking help from Muslim Attorney Center.
1. Mr. M.W went missing on 22 August 2007 from the house no. 122 Moo5 Talingchan, Banangstar District, Yala. On that day 10 officers came in the house and another 10 were waiting outside. The family thought that they were para-military from Banglan Dam Base. The wife reported the incident to police(s) and other army unit(s). The Para-military unit at Banglan Dam Base denied taking Mr. Wawa away on that day.
The wife has made inquiries at different government offices including Yala provincial office. An internal investigation was done by army. However the para military unit at Banglan Dam denied any knowledge of events leading to Mr. M.W’s disappearance.
1. Mr. U.S, aged 26 years old. He is a postman of Yala Post office. He went missing during his work hours delivering mails. The post office has the record that he went to the office at 7.30 am and left at 8.00 am to deliver mails in Yala downtown. Mr. U.S did not return home since. The relatives have informed the head of Yala Post office and reported to police(s) about the missing of Mr. U.S. Later, the relatives were informed that his motorbike was found with all mails that had not been delivered at all. The relatives recalled that Mr. U.S had been asked several times to report himself before an Army unit in Yala Province. The last time was on 5 July 2008 only 9 days before he went missing.
The relatives have filed a complaint before the Yala Provincial Governor and also with human rights organisation to look for Mr. U.S but there has been no progress in the case.
Source: Muslim Attorney Center- MAC, Thailand http://www.isranews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4048&Itemid=47 (Thai version) 2008_09_01_news_alert_on-missing-cases_south_thailand