An open letter
3 July 2015
Subject: A request for meeting to discuss DNA sample collection methods in the Deep South
Attn: Commander of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4th Forward (ISOC Region 4)
In pursuance to the letter from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to the Thai government on 15 May 2015 requesting for clarification and further information regarding the raid and search of the Seletan Cultural Center (BUMI) on 3 April 2015 and the collection of DNA samples from eight BUMI youth volunteers and another attempt to raid and search the office of the Association of Women for Peace in Southern Border Provinces (PERWANI) as per the Annex no.1;
The letter describes further the collection of DNA samples in 2012 at a Pondok School (Tarbia Tulwatan Mulnity School – TBT) in Yala and the collection of DNA samples of villagers in Tambon Saithong, Mai Kaen District, Pattani. The Committee indicates that if the communications are true, the alleged acts would amount to an act of racial discrimination and a breach of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Committee further expressed concern that the collection of DNA samples against youth has been conducted without informed consent and called on the government to develop a concrete measure to do away with the inspection of ID cards or the arrest based on racial profiling as well as to review the use of special security laws in the area making it fall in compliance with international standards and urges that an inquiry be conducted into the arising rights violation and the bringing of persons responsible to justice.
In addition, the Committee demands more information from the Thai government regarding the incidences and the reply should be submitted within 31 October 2015 on the following issues including (1) reasons why the officials had to collect DNA samples from the youth, (2) measures which can be undertaken to ensure that the enforcement of special laws in the Deep South is conducted based on respect of human rights, (3) measures to protect civil society organizations from intimidation and harassment, and (4) measures for an inquiry into rights violation as alleged in the letter and whether the perpetrators will be brought to justice or not.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) launched an inquiry report on 20 April 2015 regarding the personal rights and liberties to travel and the collection of DNA samples invoking Martial Law. In the report, it was proposed that the ISOC Region 4 review measures concerning the collection of DNA samples and the treatment of youth suspects making them fall in compliance with national and international laws regarding the protection of judicial rights of youth and families as per the Annex no.2.
Based on the above information, the undersigned human rights and civil society organizations deems it necessary that implementations be made in response to the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) regarding the operation of agencies under your oversight and the collection of DNA samples. It is important that standards and procedure are set out for the agencies to ensure that their operations garner acceptance from all sectors in society including human rights and civil society organizations. Therefore, this is a request for a meeting with you and your team to discuss DNA sampling collection methods in the Deep South to ensure its compliance with the recommendations either from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) or the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). This will have led to the implementations that garner acceptance and elicit cooperation from the people as well as the enabling environment to engender peace in the area.
Thank you for your consideration
- Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)
- Duayjai Group
- Patani Human Rights Organization (HAP)
- Nusantara Foundation for Human Rights and Development
- Academy of Patani Raya for Peace and Development (LEMPAR)
- Seletan Cultural Center (BUMI)
- Muslim Attorney Centre Foundation (MAC)
- Southern Paralegal Advocacy Network (SPAN)
- Association of Women for Peace in Southern Border Provinces (PERWANI)
For more information, please contact:
Pornpen Khongkachonkiet 02-6934939 Isamael Tae 085-2527824