Thailand: Killing of prominent human rights defender Roning Dolah

Urgent Appeal
surat thani / Unsplash

THA 005 / 0724 / OBS 029
Extrajudicial killing
July 10, 2024
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Thailand.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed about the killing of Mr Roning Dolah, a prominent Malay Muslim human rights defender in Thailand’s Southern Border Provinces (SBPs). Roning, 45, was a coordinator with the Duay Jai Group, a local organisation supported by the United Nations (UN) Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. The group focuses on investigating cases of torture and enforced disappearance in the SBPs, providing crucial rehabilitation support for torture survivors.

On June 25, 2024, at approximately 8:45 PM, Roning was fatally shot by two unidentified assailants in front of his home in Yarang District, Pattani Province. His wife and seven-year-old daughter were present at the scene and witnessed his murder. Law enforcement and military personnel recovered 28 bullet casings at the scene.
The Observatory recalls that Roning was detained five times between 2007 and 2017 under the special laws that have been in force in the SBPs and was reportedly subjected to torture by military officers during two of those detentions in 2007 and 2017. The special laws, namely the Martial Law, the Emergency Decree, and the Internal Security Act, grant broad powers to security and military forces in the region, allowing for prolonged detention without charges and judicial oversight, as well as searches without warrants, often leading to human rights abuses and fostering an atmosphere of fear and repression. Accountability for such abuses, including torture, enforced disappearance, and arbitrary detentions, remains elusive with no prosecutions against security forces initiated to date.

Roning’s personal experience as a torture survivor fuelled his commitment to helping others who suffered a similar fate. From 2015 to 2019, he participated in a mental and physical rehabilitation program. He joined the Duay Jai Group, where he coordinated community activities and handled complaints from victims of torture and arbitrary detention. Due to his human rights work, he faced continuous harassment, including unwarranted visits by military personnel to his residence.

Roning’s death occurred just before the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26, 2024. His killing is the latest deadly incident in the SBPs, which have been plagued by violent insurgent attacks and widespread human rights violations by security forces. According to Deep South Watch, at least 7,594 individuals have been killed in the SBPs from January 2004 to April 2024.

The Observatory strongly condemns the killing of Roning Dolah and urges Thailand to conduct a prompt, transparent, independent, and effective investigation into his killing to identify all those responsible and hold them accountable. Furthermore, Thailand must urgently take steps to ensure human rights defenders are protected and can carry out their work without fear of intimidation, threats or reprisals.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Thailand asking them to:

 Carry on a prompt, transparent, independent, and effective investigation into Roning Dolah’s death and hold all those responsible accountable;

 Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical integrity and psychological well-being of all human rights defenders in Thailand;

 Put an end to all acts of harassment – including at the judicial level – against all human rights defenders in Thailand, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals;

 Address the systemic issue of impunity for human rights violations in Thailand’s Southern Border Provinces (SBPs) by establishing an independent mechanism to investigate violence and human rights abuses;

 Repeal or amend the special laws, including the 1914 Martial Law Act and the 2005 Emergency Decree, to ensure that they comply with international human rights law.


• Mr. Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand, Email:
• Mr. Maris Sangiampongsa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Email:
• Mr. Tawee Sodsong, Minister of Justice of Thailand, Email:
• General Songwit Noonpackdee, Commander in Chief of the Army, Email:
• Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, Commissioner-General of the Police, Email:
• Ms. Pornprapai Ganjanarinte, National Human Rights Commissioner of Thailand, Email:,
• H.E. Ms. Usana Berananda, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Email:
• H.E. Mrs. Kanchana Patarachoke, Ambassador-designate, Embassy of Thailand to Belgium and Luxembourg, and Head of Mission of Thailand to the European Union, Belgium, Email:
Please also write to the diplomatic representatives of Thailand in your respective countries.

Geneva-Paris, July 10, 2024

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail:
• Tel FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18
• Tel OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39

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