The Fight to Expose Torture in Thailand's South
August 17, 2021
Cited article by Caleb Quinley, The Guardian
Anchana Heemmina founded the human rights organization, Duay Jai, in 2011 and through this group has identified 150 cases of torture in rural, southern Thailand. Heemmina is at the forefront of the group's efforts, personally visiting victims to catalogue and record their individual accounts of alleged torture at the hands of Thailand's military.
While the majority of Thailand is Buddhist, the approximately 5% minority Malay Muslims make up nearly 75% of the population in the southern territories bordering Malaysia. This minority is caught in the conflict between the Thai security forces, and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) in a conflict ongoing since 2004 after the deaths of 78 Muslim protesters in military custody. Heemmina has been the target of defamation charges from the Thai government. Through investigation with Facebook, she identified a false social media account of her that has been linked directly to the Thai government. International human rights organizations have identified at least 62 community-based human rights defenders who have been killed due to their work in Thailand.
HRRC stresses the need for protections for human rights defenders. HRRC additionally supports the work conducted by Anchana Heemmina and the Duay Jai organization, and encourages the community to support such organizations in their efforts to expose and publicize critical events of human rights violations.