(From AFP)

Thai security forces have tortured scores of detainees in the country’s conflict-strewn south, rights groups said Tuesday, with beatings, suffocations and death threats among a litany of alleged abuses.

Special security laws govern Thailand’s Muslim-majority southernmost provinces

Special security laws govern Thailand’s Muslim-majority southernmost provinces, where more than 6,500 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in a 12-year insurgency against Thai rule.

Under martial law and the emergency decree that smothers the south, suspected rebels can be detained for six weeks without charge.

As a result, many young Muslim men have been swept into arbitrary detention where they are vulnerable to torture, according to a report by several well-respected advocacy groups to be released on Wednesday.

The study, rare research in a dangerous zone cloaked by security forces and insurgents, is based on interviews with 54 former detainees between 2014 and 2015 who alleged they were physically or mentally tortured over the last few years.

Alleged beatings of suspects, threats at gunpoint, sensory deprivation and suffocation were all routine during detention, researchers said.

Many of the suspects were later released without charge.

“What we have documented is the tip of the iceberg,” said Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, of the Cross Cultural Foundation, a rights group. Read More

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