March 8, 2017
Rights activists and groups are welcoming a Thai government decision to drop legal cases against three rights activists who authored a report last year accusing Thai security forces of abuse and torture in restive southern Thai provinces.
In early 2016, rights lawyers Somchai Homlaor, Pornpen Khongkachonkie, and Anchana Heemmina, published a report citing 54 cases of alleged torture and mistreatment of prisoners in military custody.
Three majority Muslim Malay provinces have been the center of a 12-year insurgency that has claimed more than 6,000 lives with little progress in efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement.
Following the report’s public release, Thai Internal Security Operations Command officials filed a criminal complaint against the activists, accusing them of defamation and breaches of the Computer Crimes Act.They faced prison sentences of up to five years and fines of $2,800.
The decision to drop the charges Tuesday followed negotiations and agreement by the activists to present future evidence to the ISOC before releasing any report.