Released on 20 October 2008
Army and Royal Thai Police objected to the appeal to seek court fee exemption
Local villagers and organizations will organize a fundraising event on 25 October 2008 to help mothers seek justice for their children who have lost their lives during detention
On 25 September 2008, the judge advocate of the first defendant – the Ministry of Defence, the second defendant – the Royal Thai Army and the third defendant – the Royal Thai Police, lodged an objection to the request of Ms. Baedao Sama-ae for an exemption of court fee. Ms. Sama-ae has filed a civil lawsuit (Black Case no. 4039/2551) against the three agencies, to seek compensation for the death of her son who is believed to have died from torture during the detention. On 16 July 2008, the Civil Court dismissed Ms. Sama-ae’s request for exemption of court fees. Since Ms. Sama-ae has been unable to raise the 30,000 baht required as court fees, the civil case has not been admitted by the Court.
Therefore, local villagers and organizations shall be organizing a tea party on 25 October 2008 in order to raise funds and help Ms. Sama-ae in depositing the amount required as court fees. Such an event will help in enabling a poor person such as Ms. Sama-ae to access the justice process and seek due compensation.
Mr. Ashali Sama-ae, Ms. Sama-ae’s son, allegedly being tortured and later died on 22 July 2007 in Yala Province during the authority arresting operation. During the past year, Ms. Sama-ae has complained to various state agencies which have turned down her plea for help. Thus, she decided to bring a civil suit to demand compensation from the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Thai Army and the Royal Thai Police. Yet, similar to many poor people who have become victims of violence in the Southern border provinces, her efforts to access the justice process has been obstructed as the judge advocate was opposed to her request to seek an exemption of the court fee.
As to the death of Mr. Ashali Sama-ae who was being held in custody by officers, the public prosecutor has so far been unable to submit the inquest report as required by law.
From 9.00-16.00 on 25 October 2008, organizations working to promote access to justice and legal protection including the Cross Cultural Foundation, Muslim Attorney Center (MAC), Human Rights Desk of the Young Muslim Association of Thailand (YMAT) and We peace shall organize a tea party to raise funds to cover expenses related to the case including the court fee. A public discussion on “Four Years and the Struggle in the Thai Justice System: The case of Tak Bai and others” will also be organised. The event shall be held at the office of the office of Central Islamic Committee of Thailand, Yala Province.
During the tea party, exchange of networks to seek due justice shall be held including representatives from those struggling in the cases of Ban Nairai, Taimuang district, and Ban Yamee, Kaoyao Yai district, Phang-nga province, relatives of those suspects in national security cases, Sor 6 representatives, the case of Tak Bai, and those fighting against the Thai-Malaysian gas pipeline project. The forum intends to show how villagers and lawyers creatively work together to uphold justice in society and to ensure access to justice process. It is also organized to raise funds to cover expenses and the court fee for relatives of victims of unrest in the Southern border provinces who want to bring civil suits to demand compensation.
Ms. Patimao Paoitae-da-o We Peace, tel. 087-2939556
Mr. Abdul Asis Taday-in Young Muslim Association of Thailand (YMAT), Human Rights Desk tel. 081-957-1084
Ms. Pornpen Khongkachonkiet Cross Cultural Foundation Tel. 086-7093000
Muslim Attorney Center (MAC) Tel. 081-9592046