Thai PM says police need to gather data on Muslims

20-Sep-2019 Intellasia | JapanNews | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Thailand’s prime minister on Tuesday defended police for requesting information about minority Muslim students from universities around the country, after criticism of the move as discriminatory and illegal.

Prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the police request, which follows a series of bomb blasts in Bangkok in August that were blamed on Muslim suspects, was needed to build a national security database.

An official letter from police, shared online by former rights commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit, asked a university to supply information about the numbers, place of origin, sect affiliation and other details about Muslim-organised student groups. The name of the university was blotted out.

“This is an interference to personal rights and a discrimination based on religion,” Angkhana said, adding that freedom of religion and the right to privacy were guaranteed by the Thai Constitution.

About 90 percent of Thais are Buddhist, though Muslims are a majority in three southern provinces bordering Malaysia.

Prayuth said the move was necessary.

“The police has already pointed out that this is for the creation of a database on intelligence,” Prayuth said. “No rights have been breached. We cannot manage anything if we don’t have data.”


Category: Thailand

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