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Thailand 'needs to investigate' army torture allegations

Rights group says security officials have made abuses routine in the country's restive South

November 23, 2016

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The Thai government should promptly and impartially investigate the alleged torture of an ethnic Malay Muslim suspected of involvement in insurgency, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Nov. 23.

Rohana Salilatae reported on Nov. 22 to the Muslim Attorney Council that her husband, Eroheng Salilatae, was brutally beaten by soldiers when they raided their house in Pattani province on Nov. 18.

Soldiers allegedly punched, slapped, and kicked Eroheng, demanding that he confess that he provided a hiding place for insurgents and was the owner of two AK-47 assault rifles that soldiers said they found outside his house. They also allegedly struck him on the chest with rifle butts during the interrogation.

"Thai security officials have now made torture routine in Thailand's restive southern region, mistreating suspected insurgents with impunity," said Brad Adams, HRW Asia director. "For the government's response to be credible, the authorities need to seriously investigate these cases and bring all involved to justice."

The rights group also said that the government should also instruct the army to immediately withdraw its criminal complaints and end other forms of harassment against activists who have publicized allegations of torture by security officials in Thailand's southern border provinces.

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