18 Jan '11, 10am

Thailand extended emergency rule in most of its violence-plagued deep south for another three months

BANGKOK - THAILAND extended emergency rule in most of its violence-plagued deep south for another three months on Tuesday despite rights groups' concerns about the powers awarded to the military. The decree, which was first introduced in 2005 and covers most of the Muslim-majority provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, has been criticised by rights campaigners who say it effectively gives the army legal immunity. The state of emergency allows the military to detain suspects for questioning without charge. The extension came despite Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva hinting during a visit to Pattani on Monday that he would consider gradually rolling back the decree, which was lifted in one district last month as a test case. 'I think the government is on the right track,' he told reporters. 'If other districts are ready we will lift the laws.' Suspected Islamic insurgent...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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