World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


THAILAND: Arrest of Human Rights Defender, Rights Activist

THAILAND: Arrest of human rights defender and land rights activist

July 17, 2014

The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to express grave concern about the arrest of Prom Jarana (64 years old), a human rights defender and land rights activist with the Assembly of the Poor in Kaobart Village, Nondindaeng District, Buriram province. According to information provided by Protection International and the Assembly of the Poor to the AHRC, Prom was arrested by a group of soldiers and police at his home at 10:30 am on 17 July 2014 and taken to a military camp. His arrest comes after weeks of intimidation and threatened evictions against the community. Prom’s family was not informed of where or why he was being taken.

The arbitrary arrest and detention of Prom Jarana is a component of the attack on human rights which has taken place following the 22 May 2014 coup in Thailand. Led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the NCPO took power and abrogated the constitution in Thailand. During the first seven weeks of rule by the junta, there have been severe restrictions placed on freedom of expression and political freedom, ongoing formal and informal summons to report to the junta, extensive use of arbitrary detention, the activation of military courts to process dissidents, a targeted attack on poor and dispossessed people and the creation of a general climate of fear detrimental to human rights and the rule of law. Under the terms of martial law, which were put in place two days prior to the coup, soldiers can detain and interrogate anyone for up to seven days without having to provide evidence of wrongdoing or bring formal charges. People arrested can be held at irregular places of detention, including permanent or temporary military bases or other sites designated as places of detention. Detention in irregular places means that the possibility for rights violations, including torture, forced disappearance and extrajudicial execution is greatly increased.

Prom Jarana is a resident and human rights defender in Kaobart Village, Nondindaeng District, Buriram province. The village has had a longstanding conflict with the Thai state over their right to live in the forest. The actions against he and his fellow villagers have been justified by the NCPO through two orders related to state forest policy. NCPO Order No. 64/2557 [2014], issued on 14 June 2014, provided government agencies with additional power to suppress and stop encroachment in land designated as forest. NCPO Order No. 66/2557 [2014], issued on 17 June 2014, created a special unit of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), an agency comprised of military, police, and civilian officials, to aid in the enforcement of NCPO Order No. 64/2557 [2014]. Although the NCPO insisted that the actions of the officials must not harm poor people, thus far, the policies seem designed to do so.

On 28 June 2014, a group of approximately 50 fully-armed army, police and forest officials entered the village. The villagers were informed the army wanted to reclaim the land and the villagers had to dismantle their houses and leave the village. If the villagers refused to do so, the officials would return to dismantle their houses and evict them. The attack on Prom Jarana and Kaobart Village is not an isolated incident, but are part of a broader pattern that has affected more than 300 households and total of more than 1,000 people. The Asian Human Rights Commission has received reports that between 27 June and 2 July, army, police, and forestry officials have carried out similar campaigns of intimidation and threatened evictions in other parts of Buriram province, including Saeng Sawan,Talat Khwai, Pa Mamuang, Klong Hin Mai, and Sam Salueng villages. A group of 10 village leaders from Saeng Sawan village were arbitrarily detained without charge for seven days at the Somdet Chaophraya Mahakasatsuk; the villagers were never informed of the reason for their detention. In all of these villages, the villagers were told to dismantle their houses and leave the village. They were given until 7 to 10 July, before the officials would return to forcibly evict them. While the officials have not yet returned to forcibly evict the villagers, surveillance and intimidation of the villagers continues, and the villagers live with a constant threat of eviction.

The Asian Human Rights Commission unequivocally condemns the coup in the strongest terms and wishes to express grave concern about the rapid decline of human rights protections it has engendered. The AHRC calls for the immediate release of Prom Jarana and all those who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained by the National Council for Peace and Order for their work defending human rights. Further, the AHRC calls on the NCPO and all other state security officials in Thailand to cease using the coup and the imposition of martial law as the justification to disregard human rights. To defend human rights is not a crime.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ebola Cases Reaching Record Low

Highly contaminated waste is removed from an Ebola Treatment Unit and carried with caution to a disposal area, where it will be fed into an incinerator that burns it into ashes. Photo: WHO/R. Sørensen More>>

South Sudan: Pervasive Violence Against Healthcare

Juba, South Sudan, July 1, 2014 - Violence in hospitals and the destruction of medical facilities are denying medical services to many of South Sudan 's most vulnerable people, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today in a report, South Sudan Conflict: ... More>>

ALSO:

  • UN News - UNESCO chief denounces killing of journalists in South Sudan
  • Increasing Demand For Refined Products Will Increase Prices

    In last week's article I posted a chart from the International Energy Agency'srecent Oil Market Report that shows global demand for refined products catching up to supply by the 3rd quarter of this year. My opinion is that all of the analysts who are now ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Terrorist Attack On Hotel In Libyan Capital

    27 January 2015 – The United Nations Security Council today condemned in the strongest terms the deadly terrorist attack against the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya, and underlined the need to bring the perpetrators, financiers and sponsors of such ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Malawi In Urgent Need After Intense Flooding

    Torrential rains in Malawi have caused dozens of deaths, with hundreds of people still missing. Photo: UNDP/Arjan van de Merwe More>>

    Lack Of Funding Hampering Aid To Syria

    Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang briefs the Security Council on the situation in Syria. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

    Spy Agency CSE Is Monitoring Our Private Online Activities

    Breaking - Spy agency CSE is monitoring our private online activities on a massive scale and sharing sensitive data with other governments More>>

    UN ‘blue Helmet’ Killed Near Lebanon-Israel Cross-Fire

    28 January 2015 – A United Nations peacekeeper with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon ( UNIFIL ) was killed today near the border with Israel but the precise cause of death is as yet undetermined and remains the subject of investigation, according ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news