Thursday, March 19, 2009

Caught between insurgents and soldiers

* photo copyright *
Laila Pohetaedaoh and daughter in Yala's Krong Pinang district on 19 August 2008. Bottom right is a photo of Laila's husband who was shot and killed by insurgents.

In 2008, I had the honor to interview Laila Pohetaedoh in her home in Krong Pinang, Yala for a forthcoming documentary on the southern conflict.

At the time, she told me that she had already lost her husband and two sons to insurgent attacks.

Insurgents accused her family of working with the government.

She told me that she felt trapped between two hostile forces. The militants who were making death threats against her, and the military who treated the villagers like terrorists.

Tragically, it appears that insurgents carried out their threats.

Her death was scarcely reported in the mainstream press: from the Bangkok Post on 12/03/2009:

"In Yala's Krong Pinang district, Laila Pohetaedaoh was shot. She was taken to Yala Hospital. She recently received an award for being among the most outstanding women of the district"

From a Human Rights Watch report titled Insurgents Target Leading Muslim Woman Activist:

"On March 12, 2009, an eyewitness saw an insurgent fatally shoot Laila Paaitae Daoh, a prominent Muslim women’s rights activist and peace advocate, in broad daylight in Krongpenang district, Yala province.
She was rushed to Yala Hospital Center, but died of her wounds the next day. Laila and her family had long received threats and had been targets of insurgent attacks. Alleged insurgents killed her eldest son in 2004 and her husband and second son in 2006."

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