Academics urge end to arbitrary arrests of Deep South students

After 44 students were arrested in connection to an alleged Bangkok bombing plot, a group of academics who support human rights has urged authorities to stop the arbitrary arrest of Muslim Malay citizens.
 
Over the past week, 36 males and eight female Deep South youths have been arrested in a series of raids by a combined task force of police officers and soldiers. They were arrested as suspects in the predicted Bangkok attack plot that may take place between 20-25 October 2016 to mark the 12th anniversary of the Tak Bai killings, according to the police.
 
In response to the arrests, the Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights (TANC) released a statement on 20 October 2016 condemning the arrests as severe human rights violations.  
 
“The fact that some suspects were released without a charge shows the authorities are casting a wide net. More importantly, the arrests are arbitrary since there is no charge information and arrest warrant,” read the statement. “Additionally, there is a suspicion that the suspects have been forced under duress to plead guilty which is a severe human rights violation.”
 
TANC’s statement also urged authorities to cease abuses during Thailand’s mourning period for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on 13 October. 
 
“[Authorities should] stop taking advantage of this sensitive and fragile moment to violate legal process. It not only opposes the rule of law and civil rights but also causes a blemish to the transition period and does not benefit the country’s administration in the long term,” TANC stated.
 
The statement demands that authorities stop its prejudice against Muslim Malay citizens in order to resolve the Deep South conflict peacefully. It calls for the release of all suspects without conditions and the following of normal legal process.
 
 
Members of Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights (Photo from Komchadluek)

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