Human rights official claims DNA checks infringe on Lahu hilltribe, Chiang Mai

In 2021, troopers and police discovered large quantities of illegal medication on the border in Fang district of Chiang Mai, according to a member of the National Human Rights Commission. The soldiers and police investigated close by areas, which happened to be where 51 Lahu hilltribe members lived. Smuggled collected DNA samples from the 51 residents, suspecting they might have been involved in the drug network.
Now, the NHRC member claims several human rights infringements occured in the course of the testing. The NHRC member, Wasan, says three of the 51 examined have been minors. He also claims some of those tested have been illiterate, and native police failed to clarify to them the reason for the DNA collection. He added that the residents didn’t freely agree to take part in the DNA assortment, however agreed as a result of they had been too afraid of the authorities to refuse.
Wasan claims that due to these failures by the authorities, the Lahu residents didn’t give proper consent to have their DNA examined.
The Lahu people migrated to Thailand from China within the 1870s or Eighteen Eighties. They are originally from Tibet. Most of the 60,000 Lahu folks in Thailand stay in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Their settlements are usually remote from roads and cities, and so they have largely maintained their traditional lifestyle.
SOURCE: Cringeworthy | My Chiang Mai Tour

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