Students in Thailand’s Deep South Demand Release of Detained Peers

By Nasueroh
150406-TH-students-620 Students at Princess of Naradhiwas University protest against the Thai military’s reported detention of 22 colleagues, April 4, 2015.

The Thai military is still holding seven of 22 students detained last week in connection with a car bombing, according to a student leader from the Deep South, who claimed that both students and authorities in the Deep South have been “infiltrated” by insurgents.

The 22 were taken from area dormitories in connection with a series of bombings in Narathiwat on Feb. 20, including one in front of a karaoke bar that injured a group of people nearby and damaged surrounding structures.

On Monday, Narathiwat Police chief Maj-General Patthanawuth Angkhanawin said four student detainees had confessed to involvement in the bombings. The military was withholding their names, The Nation reported.

“We don’t deny that there are some students having connection with the insurgents. Everyone knows there is insurgent infiltration in every party, including the authorities and the students,” Suhaimi Dulasa, president of the Federation of Students in the Deep South (PERMAS), told BenarNews.

Students protested Saturday at Princess of Naradhiwas University in Narathiwat after authorities rounded up students from their dormitories on April 2, he said.

“We call on the authorities to follow the rule of law without violating human rights. Stick to the judicial process… The court will judge them based on evidence and witnesses,” he added.

“We took good care of those we invited for questioning, which was fruitful,” 4th Army Regional Commander Lt. Gen. Prakarn Cholayuth said Saturday.

‘Arbitrary Arrests’

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a United States-based rights advocacy group, issued a statement Friday saying “at least 17 activists” had been arrested from the campus in Narathiwat.

HRW criticized their detention, saying “the activists should be freed unless they have been charged by a judge with a credible offense.”

The students were forced to give the authorities DNA samples, then taken into military custody, Human Rights Watch alleged.

“Arbitrary arrests, secret detention, and unaccountable officials are a recipe for human rights abuses,” HRW Asia Director Brad Adams said.

“Violent insurgency is no excuse for the Thai military to resort to summary and abusive measures against the Malay Muslim population,” he added.


Add your comment by filling out the form below in plain text. Comments are approved by a moderator and can be edited in accordance with RFAs Terms of Use. Comments will not appear in real time. RFA is not responsible for the content of the postings. Please, be respectful of others' point of view and stick to the facts.