The forward command of Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4 has accused a civil network of making distorted statement to discredit the government and tarnish Thailand’s reputation in the eyes of the international community.
Col Pramote Prom-in, spokesman of the forward command of Isoc Region 4, said Saturday (March 3) that the statement issued on Friday by the so-called Ad Hoc Network to Civilian Protection and Freedom of Expression was a deliberate distortion of facts with a motive to discredit the government and to shame the country in the world’s arena.
In summation, the civic group’s statement said that the situation in the Deep South has not improved as claimed by the Thai security authorities but, on the contrary, has worsened, with freedom of expression in public blocked.
The network cited the filing of civil and criminal lawsuits against the media and human rights defenders in February, demanding 10 million baht in compensation from Manager Online for its report on alleged torture of criminal suspects.
The statement also cited the filing of defamation complaint against Ismael Tae, founder of the Patani Human Right Organization, who told Thai PBS “Policy by the People” TV programme of his experience under military custody back in 2008.
In the statement, the group called on Isoc and related security units to stop its intimidation through the use of special law and to stop all forms of harassment, especially the filing of complaints to the authorities against the media, human rights defenders and the public.
The group also urged separatist groups to stop its attacks on civilians of all religious faiths.
Col Pramote maintained that Isoc had attached importance to legal principles, fair and unbiased enforcement of the law to maintain peace and order in the restive Deep South and the principles of human rights.
But instead, he said the authorities were met with accusations of torture and distortion of information from people who claimed to be human right defenders.
Col Pramote insisted that the authorities were merely exercising their lawful right in filing complaints against Manager Online and Ismael Tae for their alleged deliberate dissemination of distorted information to discredit state agencies.
“Seeking redress from the justice process is the lawful right of state authorities which has nothing to do with intimidation or gagging the people as claimed and distorted,” said the colonel.