UPDATE (Thailand): Three vocational training detainees rearrested; police threaten others


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-145-2007
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest & detention, Judicial system, Refugees, IDPs & Asylum seekers, Rule of law, State of emergency & martial law,

Dear friends,

Further to our recent update on court orders that at least 300 men in southern Thailand could not be held at so-called “vocational training” camps against their will (UP-123-2007), the police have since rearrested three and threatened others to go back to the camps if they don’t also want to be taken back into custody by force.

According to information from the Working Group on Justice for Peace (Thailand) and other sources, after the courts in Surat Thani, Chumphon and Ranong ordered on 30 October 2007 that the army could not keep the over 300 men in camps in those provinces without charge against their will, the detainees left the camps and came to the main mosque in Surat Thani. They could not go home because of an army order preventing them from entering the border provinces where they live (see also AHRC-PL-048-2007).

Then, on Saturday, November 3, police from the central district police station in Surat Thani came to the mosque and took one of the men, 23-year-old Ma-yaki Manputay, back into custody with an order issued by a court in Yala, under emergency regulations.

Around 9am on Sunday, November 4, senior police from Surat Thani came and said that they had warrants for three more of the people released from the camps. Then they said that if the people staying at the mosque would go back to the training camps then no more warrants would be issued.

Two more men, Nisay Ha-yitalay and Abdulroman Duramei, were taken back into custody from the mosque. There is a court order for another, Latay Nisor, but he had not been arrested because he had not yet left from the training camp: this appears to be the message that the authorities want to send to the persons who have gone out from the camps against its wishes. There is information that orders for arrest will shortly be issued against at least another three of those who have left.

On November 5, today, lawyers moved to get the arrests of the three men revoked by the court in Yala, arguing that the arrests are not in accordance with the emergency provisions and are outside of its jurisdiction, as they were carried out in a province not under emergency rule.


The rearrest of these men is an example of the sort of “evidence-less” arrest and prosecution which prevails in Thailand, not only in the southern provinces or under emergency provisions. The director of Department of Rights and Liberties Protection in 2006 estimated that more than 30 percent of criminal cases sent to court lack evidence (AS-261-2006)–see as an example the recent acquittal of a group of protestors against a gas pipeline project: UA-279-2007. Meanwhile, powerful people who have committed grave crimes against whom there is sufficient evidence are not brought to court: for instance, General Pallop Pinmanee, who was found in a post mortem inquest to be responsible–along with two other officers–for the deaths of 28 persons in 2004, but he has never been prosecuted and is instead preparing to run for parliament in the upcoming general election (see UP-069-2007).

The emergency regulations over the southern provinces were introduced by the former prime minister to protect security officials there from prosecution. The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings has commented that they enable army and police personnel to “get away with murder”. The regulations have greatly inflamed the violence in the south since they were introduced over two years ago. They were recently renewed for the tenth time.

For full details on the decree and violence in the south visit the campaign page.

Please write to the concerned authorities to call for the release of these men, no more rearrests, and for an inquiry into the vocational training camp programme and an end to the Emergency Decree on the southern provinces without delay.

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Dear ________,

THAILAND: Rearrests of vocational training detainees who were released by courts

Names and details of victims: 
1. Ma-yaki Manputay, 23, resident of Dharsiri Subdistrict, Sabayoi District, Songkhla Province; left from Surat Thani Vocational Training Camp on 31 October 2007; rearrested at Surat Thani Central Mosque on 3 November 2007 under order of Yala Provincial Court of 2 November 2007 at request of Pol. Lt. Pandasak Silert, investigating officer, Kabang District Police Station, Yala; held at Surat Thani Central District Police Station, and then the police coordination centre in Yala
2. Nisay Ha-yitalay, 40, resident of Pajo Subdistrict, Bannang Sata District, Yala Province; ; left from Chumpon Vocational Training Camp on 31 October 2007; rearrested at Surat Thani Central Mosque on 4 November 2007; being held at police coordination centre in Yala
3. Abdulroman Duramei, 51, resident of Pajo Subdistrict, Bannang Sata District, Yala Province; rearrested at Surat Thani Central Mosque on 4 November 2007; being held at police coordination centre in Yala

I am writing to express my grave concern at the rearrests of three persons in the south of Thailand who had only just been released from army custody under court orders of 30 October 2007, and threats to others.

The men–Ma-yaki Manputay, Nisay Ha-yitalay and Abdulroman Duramei–who were among over 300 who left army camps after the courts in Surat Thani, Chumpon and Ranong provinces found that they could not be held by the army without charge and against their will, were again taken into police custody on 3 and 4 November 2007, and shortly thereafter transferred to police detention in Yala, under section 11 of the Emergency Decree BE 2548 (2005).

In addition, I am informed that there are fears about the possible imminent arrest of a number of others, particularly those who were involved in organising and leading the detainees in the cases they took to the courts under section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code to secure their release from detention. Meanwhile, police officers have reportedly threatened other detainees that there would be more arrests if they don’t go back to the so-called “training camps”. Apparently in order to send this message clearly, there is reported to be an order for the rearrest of another man, Latay Nisor, but he has not been brought into custody because he has not yet left the training camp.

I am aware that lawyers for the rearrested men have on 5 November 2007 sought to have the arrests of the three men revoked by the Yala Provincial Court, on grounds of jurisdiction and that they are not in accordance with the provisions of the Emergency Decree.

But beyond the narrow legal concerns that arise, I am also more broadly worried about what these rearrests indicate about the breakdown in the rule of law in the south of Thailand. Declining judicial authority and growing lawlessness are usually accompanied by such actions of police and military officials, resentful that the courts still have some power to stop or delimit their activities. Such practices have been seen in other countries of Asia at times of looming crises and are a bad sign for Thailand at a time that it is beset by various difficulties.

Accordingly I urge that these men be released and together with the others who left the camps in Surat Thani, Chumpon and Ranong be allowed to go back to their homes and be given guarantees of protection; and, there be no more needless and evidence-less arrests of persons under Emergency Decree or Martial Law provisions, not only for their own sake but also for the sake of the judicial system of Thailand as a whole.

Finally, I also take this opportunity to call for an independent inquiry into the establishing and running of these “vocational training camps” and for the revocation of the Emergency Decree over the southern provinces, neither of which have done anything to reduce the amount of violence in the region or improve the relationship between the people and state there. Indeed, that can only be done, as has been pointed out by many informed persons over the years, by strengthening, rather than undermining, the hands of the justice system there.




1. General Surayud Chulanont
Interim Prime Minister
c/o Government House
Pitsanulok Road, Dusit District
Bangkok 10300
Tel: +662 280 1404/ 3000
Fax: +662 282 8631/ 280 1589/ 629 8213
E-mail: spokesman@thaigov.go.th

2. General Sonthi Boonyaratglin
Interim Deputy Prime Minister
c/o Government House
Pitsanulok Road, Dusit District
Bangkok 10300
Tel: +662 280 1404/ 3000
Fax: +662 282 8631/ 280 1589/ 629 8213
E-mail: spokesman@thaigov.go.th

3. Mr. Charnchai Likitjitta
Interim Minister of Justice
Office of the Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice Building
22nd Floor Software Park Building,
Chaeng Wattana Road
Nonthaburi 11120
Tel: +662 502 6776/ 8223
Fax: +662 502 6699/ 6734 / 6884
Email: om@moj.go.th

4. Mr. Aree Wongaraya
Interim Minister of Interior
Office of the Ministry of Interior
Atsadang Road
Bangkok 10200
Tel: +662 224-6320/ 6341
Fax: +662 226 4371/ 222 8866
Email: om@moi.go.th

5. Pol. Gen. Seripisuth Themiyavet
Royal Thai Police
1st Bldg, 7th Floor
Rama I, Patumwan
Bkk 10330
Fax: +66 2 251 5956/ 205 3738/ 255 1975-8
E-mail: feedback@police.go.th

6. Lt. Gen. Viroj Buacharoon
Fourth Army Area
Sirinthon Camp, Khaotoom
Yarang, Pattani 94160
Tel: +66 73 262 598
Fax: +66 73 262 572

7. Mr. Pranai Suwanarat
Southern Border Province Administrative Center (SBPAC)
Yala Provincial Office
Muang District, Yala 95000
Tel/Fax: +66 073 203 802

8. Mr. Chaikasem Nitisiri
Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
Lukmuang Building
Nahuppei Road
Prabraromrachawang, Pranakorn
Bangkok 10200
Tel: +662 224 1563/ 222 8121-30
Fax: +662 224 0162/ 1448/ 221 0858
E-mail: ag@ago.go.th or oag@ago.go.th

9. Prof. Saneh Chamarik
National Human Rights Commission of Thailand
422 Phya Thai Road
Pathum Wan District
Bangkok 10300
Tel: +662 219 2980
Fax: +662 219 2940
E-mail: commission@nhrc.or.th

10. Mr. Homayoun Alizadeh
Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific of OHCHR
UN Secretariat Building, 6th Fl., Room A-601
Rajdamnern Nok Ave.
Bangkok 10200,
Tel: +662 288 1496
Fax: +662 288 3009

11. Ms. Leila Zerrougui
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
1211 Geneva 10

12. Mr. Leandro Despouy
Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers
Att: Sonia Cronin
Room: 3-060
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9160

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)