Thai military drops defamation case over torture report

AP News
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Posted: Mar 07, 2017 7:29 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's military has withdrawn criminal complaints of defamation and violating the computer law against three human rights activists who issued a report alleging torture by security forces in the country's insurgency-plagued south, a decision welcomed by rights groups.

A spokesman for the army's Internal Security Operations Command, which filed the charges, said Tuesday the military was withdrawing the complaints to facilitate future cooperation between private groups and officials.

The activists' report, released in January 2016, detailed 54 accounts of alleged torture by officials during interrogations in southern Thailand.

The army security command is largely responsible for overseeing efforts to quell a Muslim separatist insurgency in Buddhist-dominated Thailand's far southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. The violence has taken about 7,000 lives since escalating dramatically in 2004.