News Videos
World
International Edition

Wednesday

July 26, 2017

Breaking News, World News and Taiwan News.
About Us
E-Newsletter
Advertise
Contact Us

Amnesty International alleges war crimes along Thai border

BANGKOK -- Amnesty International on Tuesday condemned the indiscriminate murder of civilians by insurgents in Thailand's southern border provinces, saying the killings amounted to war crimes.

A report issued by the London-based human rights group also said security forces were guilty of excesses, including extrajudicial killings, that endangered civilians. Nearly 4,800 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and thousands injured in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, plus parts of neighboring Songkhla since a long-running insurgency flared up in 2004.

"(The insurgents) have committed — and are continuing to commit — what amount to acts aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population, and which constitute war crimes," the report said.

Ethnic Malay Muslims form the majority of the population in the area, which was mostly part of a Malay sultanate until annexed by predominantly Buddhist Thailand a century ago.

The insurgents are thought to be pursuing separatist aims, but the various shadowy groups have rarely put forward demands or shown any interest in negotiating with the state.

On Sept. 16, a triple bomb attack in Narathiwat killed six people and wounded scores.

The Amnesty report, entitled "They Took Nothing but his Life," detailed the deaths of 82 people in 66 insurgent attacks between November 2006 and June 2011 in three districts.

Most victims were Muslim, but Amnesty said the insurgents killed both Muslims and Buddhists from all walks of life.

Many killings occurred at night, but some took place in broad daylight and in front of witnesses. Yet few witnesses came forward due to fears of retaliation.

"The quality of attacks has increased, as has the brutality, the targeting and the size of the bombs and number of casualties," Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty's Thailand researcher and author of the report, told a news conference.

But he said the number of attacks had decreased.

Economy Affected

The attacks, some of which are blamed on criminal elements, have prompted many Buddhists to relocate. Since 2004, at least 200,000 people are estimated to have moved to Hat Yai, capital of Songkhla, doubling the size of the city, Amnesty said.

The economy has suffered in the rubber-rich region, with a drop in tourist numbers and a fall in consumer spending.

"The government of Thailand has not been able to assert and exercise lawful control over these provinces," Amnesty said. Security forces, it said, had engaged in torture, disappearances and extrajudicial killings.

The climate of fear was compounded by easy access to guns, with permission frequently granted to anyone employed by a state body on grounds of self-defense. Amnesty said more than 31,000 members of the armed forces could now be in the area, plus tens of thousands of people in militias set up to protect isolated settlements.

It urged the authorities to tighten up on gun ownership, investigate crimes committed by security forces and move beyond a counter-insurgency strategy to address local grievances.

MOST POPULAR OF THIS SECTION
1
Taiwanese arrive in Cambodia to urge that fraud suspects be sent home — not to China
2
A woman died from poisoned coffee and now the cafe's business is booming
3
Taiwanese who allegedly impersonated police in Singapore get taken to the scene of the crime
4
The American cop who shot dead an Australian woman 'is refusing talk'
5
South Korea's president told Obama that the North has 'last chance' for dialogue
6
LATEST: Kim promises more missile test 'gift packages'
7
A journalist with close ties to the Japanese PM is being accused of rape
8
UPDATE: Death toll rises to 7 in southwestern Japan floods; princess delays engagement announcement
9
Some tourist visa holders being asked to show 20,000 baht in cash when entering Thailand
10
Protesters have turned out to support a Taiwanese man's landmark same-sex court case in Japan
Advertise  |   RSS Feed  |   About Us  |   Contact Us
Home  |   Taiwan  |   China  |   Business  |   Asia  |   World  |   Sports  |   Life  |  
Arts & Leisure  |   Health  |   Editorial  |   Commentary Travel  |   Movies  |   Guide Post  |   Terms of Use  |  
  chinapost search