More Terror in Thailand

More attacks are reported in Thailand as the country braces for the first anniversary of the April 28, 2004 massacre of 32 Islamic militants by security forces at Krue Se mosque in the restive south of the country. An all-too-typical dialectic of state-versus-insurgent terror is at play here. The massacre came just weeks after the still-unexplained disappearance of Somchai Neelapaichit, a human rights worker who had been reporting on abuses in the region. Local Muslims are also outraged over the death of 85 peaceful prostesters in custody last October—most suffocated to death after their arrest at the village of Tak Bai. Security has been beefed up as the Krue Se anniversary nears. Over the past three days, bomb and grenade attacks on Hat Yai airport, a police station and hotel have left two dead and scores injured. Ten days earlier, an army commander, a Buddhist abbot and his police escort were injured in bomb blasts in Yala province. Four Buddhist monks were killed in the region last year, and attacks on local Buddhists continue. (UK Guardian, April 5)

A similar wave of attacks shook the region in February.

  1. HRW: Thailand yet to address 2004 attacks

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Oct. 25 criticized the lack of action taken by the Thai government to bring police and military personnel responsible for the deaths of protestors in Tak Bai in 2004 to justice. This failure, according to HRW Asian director Brad Adams, "is a glaring injustice that brings the police, military and courts into disrepute." The 2004 attacks occurred during a protest by ethnic Malay Muslims when police shot and killed seven people, while another 78 were suffocated or crushed during transportation to an army camp. Despite giving compensation to some of the victims and their families, the government has not taken action to prosecute those criminally responsible. The Supreme Court in August 2013 ruled that security forces could not be blamed for the incident, as they acted as part of their duties.

    From Jurist, Oct. 26. used with permission.