05BANGKOK1163 EMBASSY/STATE DEPARTMENT HUMAN RIGHTS VETTING FOR: EXERCISE BALANCE TORCH (BT) 05-2
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS BANGKOK 001163
STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, L/EAP, L/PM, PM/ISO, INR AND DRL
PACOM FOR FPA HUSO
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MASS MARR MOPS PREL PHUM TH HUMAN RIGHTS VETTING
SUBJECT: EMBASSY/STATE DEPARTMENT HUMAN RIGHTS VETTING FOR:
EXERCISE BALANCE TORCH (BT) 05-2
REF: JUSMAG THAI MEMO DATED 3 FEBRUARY 2005.
¶1. This is an action request.
¶2. JUSMAGTHAI has requested that the Embassy/State
Department complete human rights vetting for units that have
been selected to participate in Exercise Balance Torch (BT)
05-2 from 11 April – 3 June 2005. To meet internal DOD
advance deployment deadlines, they have requested that the
review of human rights reports and files be completed no
later than eight weeks prior to the exercise, if possible.
¶3. The Embassy possesses no credible evidence that any of
the units listed below in paragraph four have committed gross
violations of human rights. The Embassy has important
information, contained in paragraph 5, about one of the
units. Please advise whether the Department has any relevant
information on the units listed in paragraph four below.
¶4. Participants in the Exercise are as follows:
ROYAL THAI ARMY UNITS
Special Warfare Command, 1st Special Forces Division, 1st
Special Forces Regiment
– (approx. 20 personnel)
1st Army Area, 1st Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Regiment
(approx. 440 personnel)
2nd Army Area, 3rd Infantry Division, 3rd Infantry Regiment
(approx. 220 personnel)
4th Army Area, 5th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Regiment
(approx. 220 personnel)
ROYAL THAI NAVY
HQ, Special Warfare Group (approx. 50 personnel)
¶5. Thai media reports indicated that members of the 25th
Infantry Regiment were involved in the April 28, 2004 assault
upon militants holding the Krue Sae Mosque in Pattani
Province. 32 militants who had occupied the mosque and who
were part of a series of regional attacks against Thai
Government institutions and murders of Thai officials were
killed by Thai special forces who stormed and retook the
mosque. An independent commission was set up by the Royal
Thai Government to investigate the incident and concluded
that excessive force was used in retaking the mosque. The
investigation did not/not name the 25th Infantry Division as
having committed human rights violations. MG Surapun
Wongthai, G-3 for the Royal Thai Army, has assured JUSMAGTHAI
that no members of the 25th Infantry Division have been
implicated, or are expected to be implicated, with excesses
associated with retaking the mosque. Post notes that an
added feature of the training these units will receive in
this exercise is an expanded human rights training course.
Embassy Bangkok Political Counselor Robert J. Clarke is the
verifying officer for the Embassy/Department of State.