Thai goverment may introduce ISA-type law
BANGKOK: The government is pondering a decree similar to the draconian Internal Security Act of Singapore and Malaysia that would permit police to hold indefinitely without charges any suspect linked to the ongoing violence in the Muslim-majority south, said official sources.
The Justice Ministry has been instructed to assessing the constitutionality of a proposed decree that was proposed by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the sources said.
Deputy Prime Minister Visanu Kruengam will be chairing a multi-agency meeting today to examine the proposal.
Besides longer detention, the proposed decree is looking for strong punishment.
Police chief Gen Kowit Wattana said longer detention of suspected insurgents would be helpful for police work.
Gen Kowit said the police expect to make considerable headway in cracking the inner circle of the insurgent groups this month.
He did not say how many groups are at work or what kind of capacity they have.
Thaksin has been frustrated at the fact that authorities have been unable to put a stop to the ongoing spate of violence in the south and called on the officials to look into this controversial proposal, sources said.
The controversial proposed decree is likely to raised concerns as Thai police have come under severe scrutiny in their handling of the violence in the region, including the recent Tak Bai incident that ended in the death of at least 85 people 79 of whom while under the custody of the police and army.
Thai police are permitted to hold a suspect under detention no more than 48 hours without charges after which the court must intervene for extension.
The court can grant a maximum of 12 days for each of request. Police cannot exceed a total of three requests. The Nation/ANN