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ACHR Press Release
ACHR Index: PR/THA-MUSLIM/27/10/04
27 October 2004

United Nations urged to set up International Commission of Inquiry into massacre of Muslims in Thailand

New Delhi: The Asian Centre for Human Rights, a regional human rights organisation based in New Delhi, has termed the killing of at least 87 Muslims in Southern Thailand on 25 and 26 October 2004 by the Thai army as “crimes against humanity” and urged the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louis Arbour to set up international commission of inquiry.

Disproportionate use of force in violation of the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and inhumane and degrading treatment of the detainees caused the death of 80 protestors due to suffocation, apparently resulting from being tightly packed into trucks for transportation to a military barracks in Pattani for detention.

The suspension of the army officers involved in the crack down on 25 and 26 October 2004 is an indispensable pre-requisite for free and fair inquiry into the massacre of the unarmed protestors,” stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

About 1,300 protestors are presently being detained incommunicado, without access to lawyers and relatives, in military custody at Ingkayutthaboriharn camp in Pattani under martial law. Asian Centre for Human Rights requested the High Commissioner to urge Thailand government to immediately provide access to the United Nations Working Group on

Arbitrary Detention, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions and UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and National Human Rights Commission of Thailand to these detainees.

ACHR stated the UN High Commissioner that inquiry commission ordered by the Thailand government has little credibility and Thailand has failed to prosecute any officer either from the police or army for disappearance of Muslim Lawyer, Somchai Neelaphaijit and the killings in Pattani's historic Krue Se mosque in Southern Thailand on 28 April 2004.

Six persons were shot dead while over 1300 were arrested after the Thai army violently dispersed 3,000 protesters who gathered outside a police station in Narathiwat province on 25 October 2004 to protest against the detention of six Village Defence Personnel accused of providing weapons to armed groups.

For more information please call Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights in New Delhi, India at +91-11-25503624 or 25620583

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