Giles Ji Ungpakorn
Abdullah Isomuso, 32, was found unconscious a few days ago inside his holding cell in the notorious “Fort Ingkhayut” military base in Patani. He was arrested the day before, suspected of involvement in an anti-Thai government insurgent group.
Local Malay Muslims in Patani have been fighting a war of liberation against the brutal Thai imperialist state for decades. [See https://bit.ly/2bemah3 ].
Doctors found an accumulation of excess fluid inside his brain, suggesting he suffered from a prolonged shortage of oxygen. No sign of physical violence was found on his body. This is in keeping with the belief that Abdullah Isomuso had been tortured by security forces at Fort Ingkhayut. Instead of water-boarding, he may well have had some kind of bag put over his head to deprive him of oxygen. He is now in serious danger of becoming brain dead.
The legal rights group iLaw reported that a Bangkok detainee of the military was tortured by using a plastic bag over her face. [See https://bit.ly/2Yd9wGS ].
His wife, Sumaiya Minka, said she was only informed of his condition when she went to Fort Ingkhayut to visit her husband, at which she was told instead to go to a hospital’s ICU ward. The military told her that her husband had “fallen down” in his cell.
[In this photo, released by the ISOC, Abdullah Isomuso, center, is shown reading documents inside Fort Ingkhayut on July 20. From khaosodenglish].
Relatives and friends of Abdullah Isomuso, who attempted to visit him in hospital, have been filmed and harassed by security forces.
It is no surprise that in parliament Generalissimo Prayut defended all the actions of these soldiers at Ingkhayut camp and attacked people who claimed that Abdullah Isomuso had been tortured, saying that they had “probably watched too many films”. He also complained about too much emphasis on “human rights”.
Lt. Gen. Pornsak Poonsawat, the 4th Army Region commander, has promised to set up a committee to investigate the incident. But we should not expect any truth to come out of this military investigation. When reporters asked about the CCTV inside the Ingkhayut camp, they were informed that “they were all out of action”.
CCTV cameras at various sites where extrajudicial killings by police and the military take place are usually “out of action”. This not only occurs in Patani, but also in the north, where members of minority ethnic groups are regularly gunned down. In 2017 Chaiyapoom Pasae, a 17 year old Lahu activist, was killed in cold blood and apparently there was a fault with the CCTV cameras. [See https://bit.ly/2o4Wq99 ].
Last week Ja-jur Ja-Or, a 50 year old Lahu/Mussur man, was gunned down and killed by police in Wiang Hang, Chiang Mai province. Eye witnesses that saw him lying dead stated that he was unarmed. But later police moved his body and placed a gun by his side. When his mother attempted to approach his body, police pushed and kicked her away and she fell. Angry villagers then confronted the police.
Local community groups have protested this extra-judicial killing and demanded that the police killers be immediately moved out of the area so that an impartial investigation can take place. They insist that Ja-jur Ja-Or had nothing to do with the drug trade, as claimed by police and pro-government media.
Racism in Thai society plays a big part in shaping prejudices against Malay Muslims in Patani and ethnic minority groups in the north. This weakens attempts to hold the authorities to account. [See https://bit.ly/1JaeTJY ].
Until we overthrow the present parliamentary military dictatorship there can be no justice or peace.