THAILAND: Continued harassment of WGJP Pattani office by military 

30 March 2009: The Pattani office of the Working Group on Justice for Peace was once again visited by a group of soldiers from Special Taskforce Unit 23 of Pattani. This time the group of soldiers, comprised of 4 uniformed and armed men, under the command of 1st Lt Benja Manochai, deputy chief of Special Taskforce 23, came to the office on 29 March 2009 at 11 am and stayed until 1pm interrogating staff. They asked the staff questions regarding the following:

1. When was the office opened?
2. Who is working in this office, including high and low level staff?
3. What kind of activities and programs does this office do?
4. What data do you have that is useful for us?
5. What information does the office gather in the field?

The soldiers explained that they were asked by the head of Special Taskforce 23, Lt Col Praweet Suthi-prapha to gather information about the activities of NGOs in Pattani. The soldiers were particularly interested to know which other organizations this office works with at both the national and international level. The staff did not give any information but asked the soldiers to send their requests for information in writing and gave them the organization’s brochure.

The same group of soldiers returned on 30 March 2009 at around 9am. They explained that they had forgotten to take down the names of staff the day before. They also brought a box of medicine, including pain killers, Ethyl Alcohol, anti-bacterial solution, and gauze. The coordinator of the office, Adenan Sulaelo, gave his name to the soldiers.

The past week a lot of arrests had taken place in Pattani. One family came to complain at the WGJP Pattani office on Saturday, 28 March 2009, about their son being detained at the Special Taskforce 23. The mother visited the office again on Sunday morning after coming from the Special Taskforce camp. The group of soldiers arrived shortly after the mother left the office.

The WGJP Pattani office had been raided by a group of soldiers on 8 February 2008 when the office was searched, including computers and written files, for 2 hours. For more information, visit:

In light of these developments, WGJP has decided to hold an open meeting on 7 April 2009 at the CS Pattani inviting security personnel in an attempt to clarify the role of NGOs in the three provinces, the legitimacy and importance of their work, as well as the activities undertaken by WGJP to avoid further misunderstanding.

WGJP calls on all concerned to voice their concerns regarding this incident and lend support to the importance of NGOs and legitimacy of their work in Thailand.


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Document Type : Forwarded Statement
Document ID : AHRC-FST-026-2009
Countries : Thailand,