ISOC to withdraw defamation charges against three human rights advocates

The Internal Security Operations Command of the Forward Fourth Army Region has agreed to withdraw defamation charges against three human rights activists who were responsible for writing a report about alleged torture of criminal suspects in the Deep South.

Colonel Pramote Prom-in, spokesman of Fourth Army Region's ISOC, said Tuesday that representatives of the government and ISOC met with representatives of human rights network to discuss alleged human rights abuses in the southern restive region following the publication of a report on torture and human rights abuses of 54 criminal suspects jointly prepared by Somchai Homla-or and Ms Pornpen Kongkachornkiat, director and advisor of Cross Cultural Foundation respectively and Ms Anchana Hermmena, chair of the Duey Jai group.

The meeting agreed to set up a panel to investigate the alleged abuses and torture and to work out certain mechanisms to solve the problem on the long run.

Colonel Pramote reportedly told the meeting that ISOC would withdraw defamation charges lodged against the three human rights activists namely Somchai, Ms Pornpen and Ms Anchana.

Meanwhile, Somchai Homla-or, said that since the report had been disseminated, it could not be recalled. However, he assured that human rights network in the Deep South would exercise more caution and to double-check facts regarding allegations of human rights violations with authorities concerned.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)