Thai army arrested 50 students and young people on June 2, in the conflict-torn southern provinces of Thailand. The students are affiliated with PerMAS (Federation of Patani Students and Youths) along with other peer groups that are advocating for peace.
A secretary of PerMAS, Mr. Fardee Salaeh, was also detained, in the indiscriminate crackdown. The belongings of the students, that included cellphones and documents were seized, and they were forced to undergo DNA testing. 40 were released on the same day, while 10 youths remained in a heavily-secured detention centre. According to local news, the students were arrested for the alleged involvement to the bombings in Yala province.
Over 200 young people rallied in front of the detention centre on June 4, calling for justice and the immediate release of their peers.
PerMAS issued a press statement, condemning the detention and intimidation.
We urge human rights organizations such international UNCHR, OIC, International NGOs and the international organizations cooperation such as the EU and others to check the violation of human rights in Patani.
The student movement has also appealed to the public to work together in protecting civil liberties. They expressed their concern that there is an increase of human rights violation after the coup of 2014.
In April, scores of students were detained by the army, adding to the tension between the military-controlled regime and the Muslim community in the south.
As Thailand struggles to stop the insurgency, which has seen more than 5,000 people killed and countless more injured in the decade-old conflict, the post-coup crackdowns serve no purpose in security. Rather than protect the rights of the population, the heavy-handed actions of the authorities will derail peace and self-determination.