A call for a halt in the use of GT200 for personal and house search

Working Group on Justice for Peace

24/158 Soi Ladphrao 21, Ladphrao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900;

wgjp.bkk@gmail.com / www.wgjp.org

002/2010                                                                                                  17 February 2010

Public Statement

A call for a halt in the use of GT200 for personal and house search

The Working Group on Justice for Peace (WGJP) has been calling for the Thai government to conduct an independent test of the GT200 bomb detector since we believe it is not a scientific device. Lately, the government has conceded to the demand and held a test. As expected by public, leading scientists, human rights activists and communities affected by the use of the device, GT200 has proven to be a complete failure contrary to the claim made by its manufacturer. The detection efficiency of the device falls even lower than a random search. Therefore, there is nothing to say other than the device is neither accurate nor credible.

WGJP therefore calls on the government and security  and justice agencies to immediately halt the use of this device as an indicator to create a list of suspects and to hold certain people in custody as well as to search personal homes. For safety of the bomb detector officials themselves and safety of public lives and properties, it should no longer be used for detecting explosive material in any place as well. The government and the Royal Thai Army should make efforts to acquire genuinely effective devices accepted and used at international level to replace GT200. Also, it should provide compensation for innocent people who have previously been held in custody and arrested as a result of the use of this device.

That security agencies in Thailand’s Deep South claim that having this device in use is better than having none since it helps to boost their psychological strength and confidence simply shows how the officers fail to come to terms with realities and deny the importance of scientific knowledge which is essential for keeping society safe and peaceful. Such a claim will eventually takes its toll on the lives of field officials and shall erode the confidence and trust local civilians have toward their attempts to address unrest in the South.

……………………

Contact: Angkhana Neelapaijit 084-7280350

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