Another faceless victim of senseless violence in the deep South?
Who would have wanted to kill a young mother of two who was totally harmless and did not pose a threat to anybody?
Relatives and friends of the victim, Mrs Jehrohani Yuso, might have asked quietly. But the chance is that they will never get the answer. Or, at best, the authorities may conclude that she might have been killed by the militants.
Mrs Jehrohani, 26, was shot dead at about 4 p.m. in Ra-ngae district of Narathiwat on August 29 – one day before the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, as she was riding a motorcycle on her way back home in Ban Bo Ngo, Tambon Bo Ngo, from the Dosongyo market in Cha-nae district.
Initial police said that the assailant who was still unidentified, riding on the pillion of a motorcycle, fired four shots from a 9mm pistol into her body. The victim died instantly at the scene on the local road between Ban Mo Sawa and Ban Bo Ngo. Four 9mm bullet casings were found at the crime scene.
Strangely though, the killing has not been reported in the local or national media the following days until a few days afterward when it was picked up by the Isra news agency. When asked by reporters from Isra news agency about who the victim was, police were unable to provide much information. In other words, the victim might be treated as just another figure in the statistics of casualties from the violence which has gripped the deep South for more than seven years.
An ordinary Muslim woman though, Mrs Jehrohani was the wife of Abdulloh Arbukari, a witness under the witness protection programme of the Department of Special Investigation in an alleged torture case filed against a group of police officers responsible for investigating the gun robbery case which took place on January 4, 2004, when Islamic militants raided an armoury of the fourth development battalion in Krom Luang Narathiwatratchanakarin or Pee Leng camp, and took away 413 weapons, mostly M16 assault rifles. Abdulloh has disappeared without any traces on December 11, 2009, as he was visiting his wife to celebrate the end of the Ramadan.
The torture case against the police officers has been dropped by the National Counter- Corruption Commission for lack of evidence on December 22, 2010. The complainant who brought the case against the police officers is facing lawsuits from some of the officers.
Besides Abdulloh, more than 30 Malay Muslims have been missing without traces in the restive deep South between 2002-2011, according to the statistics of the Justice for Peace Foundation. The foundation has recorded more than 90 “enforced” missing cases during 1991-2011, including those of labour leader Thanong Po-an and Somchai Nillapaichit, famous Muslim lawyer who acted as a defence lawyer for the armoury robbery suspects, among others.
Somchai’s surviving widow, Mrs Angkana, in her capacity as chair of the Justice for Peace Foundation, in cooperation with relatives of the missing persons held a seminar in Bangkok on September 1 in remembrance of the missing.
The seminar attached importance on the “enforced” disappearance issue which the panelists concurred that has caused serious social and economic impacts on families of the missing persons.
Besides, it was noted at the seminar that most of the “enforced” disappearance cases remain unresolved, resulting to the enquiry officers or the prosecutors to drop the charges on several cases, among them the case of Muslim lawyer Somchai and that of Mr Kamol Laosophapan.
The seminar ended with a list of recommendations that the foundation will submit to the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for consideration. Among the recommendations are: that the government ratifies the international convention on the protection of individual rights against enforced disappearance; that the government welcomes the visits of the United Nations representatives to investigate or examine human rights situation in Thailand; that the government set up a mechanism to assist families of the missing people; that all human rights violation cases must be investigated in a transparent manner and without delay.
Caption : Mrs Jehrohani Yuso and her daughter