Pattani protesters visited by officials

Six people who participated in a demonstration at the Krue Se Mosque on 2 August have since been visited by police and military officers.

The Federation of Patani Students and Youth, or PerMAS, posted on their Facebook page that several army rangers twice went to visit Fadel Madeng, a participant in the Krue Se Mosque demonstration, at his house in Khok Pho District, Pattani. The first visit was on 8 August, but no one was home at the time. The second visit was on 9 August, and only his mother and grandmother were home. The officers said they wanted to ask Fadel whether he went to the demonstration, but when they found that Fadel wasn’t there, they took down the names and phone numbers of all 6 members of Fadel’s family and asked them to tell Fadel that whenever he returns, he can meet the officers at a local camp. PerMAS said that the officers’ action caused concern for the family as they believe this is harassment against a peaceful protestor.

Voice Online also reported that a group of rangers from a unit in Sai Buri, Pattani, visited Imron Sahoh, a member of Deep South Watch, who also went to the demonstration at Krue Se Mosque, at his home during the afternoon of 12 August.

Imron said that he usually lives in Pattani city and rarely ever comes to the house in Sai Buri, but he went home because it was a public holiday. He said that there were 6 – 7 rangers in the group. Two came to talk to him and one took pictures, while the others waited outside on the road.

The officers told him that they came to see him because he went to the demonstration at Krue Se Mosque. They also told him that they understand that people have different political affiliations, but they were ordered by their superiors to visit him, so they had to obey. However, Imron said that they only asked for his personal information, which their superiors should already have and should not be hard to find, and not about the demonstration, so he thinks that they possibly have a hidden agenda in visiting him.

Four other people involved in the demonstration who live in the Pattani and Yala area were also visited by police and military officers, including Foreign Affairs Officer of PerMAS Suraiya Waha, who gave a speech during the demonstration, and Usman Alimama, a former student at Prince of Songkla University’s Pattani campus and one of the organisers of the Krue Se Mosque demonstration.

The demonstration at the Krue Se Mosque took place on 2 August and was organized by the Persatuan Pemuda Patani group, a Pattani-based youth group, and was joined by students, activists, and members of the public. iLaw reported that there were security checkpoints around the protest area and that participants were required to register to go into the mosque area by scanning their ID cards or writing down their names, addresses, and phone numbers.