Remaining 14 Yala teachers released
Authorities have released 14 remaining religious teachers after a two-week detention on suspicion of involvement in the violence in the restive South, the regional police chief said yesterday.
A pistol with ammunition confiscated from a crime scene in the deep South is displayed at a press conference in Yala. Police said they have managed to arrest many suspects in connection with a murder case over the past month.
They were released after officials completed inquiries into their meeting on a Satun island last month but the results of the interrogation would not be unveiled, said Pol Lt-General Adul Saengsingkeow, commander of the Ninth Police Region.
Police detained 19 religious teachers and a boat operator two weeks ago in accordance with the Emergency Law, which authorises officials to detain them up to 30 days without charge. Adul did not say if the group would face any further charges after their release.
All the teachers are from the Thammawitthaya School in Yala, whose co-founder Spae-ing Baso is on the run amid accusations that he is behind the violence that has plagued the region.
The private Islamic school (pondok) came under the spotlight two years ago when the government accused a number of its teachers of orchestrating violent attacks in the region.
Many religious teachers and students
at the school died or were arrested
during an uprising against the state in 2004.
One of the teachers, who declined to be named, said his group had no connection with the ongoing violence, and their meeting on the island was a workshop on the school's education programme.
The government is struggling to contain the violence in the predominantly Muslim region that has killed more than 1,000 people over the past two years.
The government's tough handling has been widely blamed for the increasing violence, and has also led to international criticism over the human-rights situation faced by ethnic Malay Muslims in the deep South.