Close to 470 political prisoners in Thailand

25 08 2010

According to a recent article by Marwaan Macan-Markar, a Thai human rights activist estimates that there are close to 470 political prisoners detained in jails and other sites of detention. These are all detentions which have been made under the Emergency Decree since the violence of April and May 2010. It does not include an unknown number held under lese majeste laws.

Citing information from the recently-formed People’s Information Center/ศูนย์ข้อมูลประชาชนผู้ได้รับผลกระ ทบจากการสลายชุมนุมกรณีเมษายน-พฤษภาคม 2553 , which is keeping track of arbitrary detention, disappearance and other human rights violations, 136 people are being held in the Northeast.  What is concerning, as Marwaan Macan-Markar points out, in conversation with Kwanravee Wangudom, one of the organizers of the People’s Information Center (PIC), is that

The decree, which gives authorities wide arresting powers, still remains in force in Bangkok and six provinces. What worries those like the PIC is that “the arresting has not stopped” for charges ranging from arson, carrying firearms and violating of traffic laws to violating the emergency law. “The government has still not declared the true numbers of those arrested for political activity in all the jails,” Kwanravee told IPS.  “Arrests are still continuing.”

There are a number of other disturbing issues surrounding detention – the PIC’s estimated number of those arrested and detained is much higher than that of the government. If the government is hiding the true number of those arrested, what else may be concealed?

While the Emergency Decree gives authorities wide-ranging powers of arrest and detention, PPT would like to echo a point made by the Asian Human Rights Commission last month: the Emergency Decree is only appropriate while there is an emergency. There is no longer an emergency situation in Thailand, at least not one other than the one being perpetrated by the Thai state’s arbitrary uses of power and repression.



2 responses

26 08 2010
Red shirt arrests continue « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] shirt arrests continue Yesterday PPT cited a report by Marwaan Macan-Markar, where he had a comment by the People’s Information Center that […]

24 09 2010
Redshirt arrests continue-PPT « FACT – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

[…] PPT cited a report by Marwaan Macan-Markar, where he had a comment by the People’s Information Center that […]

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