From the ferocious southern zones swarmed by rebellion, reports of erroneous criminal records spin into existence. It’s a region that vividly recalls the macabre sight of a bomb explosion in Si Sakhon district, Narathiwat province, an incident that transformed the highway into a deep, monstrous crater and silenced the lives of two bomb disposal officers, leaving another seriously injured. This event holds a photo imprint, a tragic testament captured by Abdullah Benjakat.
The Prachachat Party, under the vocal pitch of its spokesman and MP for Narathiwat, Kamonsak Leewamoh, is championing the charge for a call to action: a declaration to cleanse these “erroneous criminal records” that imprinter dark blotches on certain groups, specifically those haunted by the shadows of the deep South. Simultaneously, the party rallies to ignite a beacon of encouragement for the suspension of the emergency decree that shackles most parts of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.
The Justice Ministry, now sailing under the Captainship of the party leader, Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, offers a golden opportunity for the party to venture on the uncharted seas of justice-related policies, notes Kamonsak Leewamoh, who also commands the helm as chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs.
In a vow made to rewrite the narrative of names mistakenly imprisoned in the punitive criminal records database, the party is leveraging its past engagement with individuals bearing false records. References on human rights violations also serve as an anchor, a pivot point to safeguard the rights of citizens spanning the southernmost region and extending its arms to cover the nation on a large scale.
Leewamoh lends his voice on the issue, stating, “We have delved deep into the heart of this subject, devoting our time and diligence. The ball now lies in the party’s court to eliminate the hindrances and pave the way for swift cleansing of these records.”
Harbouring a robust base of supporters in the southernmost region, Prachachat has been flooded with numerous accounts of locals, their lives stigmatized by an unjust criminal past. This pattern has provoked the party to incorporate the matter within its campaign policies.
Leewamoh highlights those who have fallen victim to this erroneous system, a particular stinging point for those in the southernmost region. This includes those who have been served non-prosecution orders or those whose cases have been scrapped by court order. The ramifications of bearing a criminal record seep into various life aspects, erecting hurdles in activities that call for legal validation– from securing employment to crossing international borders.
The pain of wrongful accusations, a subtle yet aggressive form of rights infringement, is acutely experienced by one such victim, who shared the humiliation he felt under the unforgiving gaze of immigration police following a non-prosecution order issued by a court back in 2015.
Various sectors have made efforts to untangle this colossal issue, distinguished mentions include the Royal Thai Police. They managed to purge an estimated 10 million innocent names from the twisted confines of their criminal database within a span of April to June. Yet, a security official voicing out of the deep South highlights the systemic challenge to instituting improvement. Instead, the struggle to solve these issues takes on the monumental task of tackling them one by one, a difficulty exacerbated by the absence of a comprehensive list of those impacted by such errors.