Thai version: Released on 19 October 2009
English version: Released on 20 October 2009
Imam Yapa Kaseng’s criminal lawsuit
The first hearing of the criminal lawsuit against five army officers and one police officer
with respect to coercion, arbitrary detention, torturing to death in army custody
On Monday 19 October 2009, at 1.30 till 5.00 pm, the Narathivath Provincial Court heard the first testimony of the criminal lawsuit Black no. 1611/ 2009. The first testimony in front of the court was given by Mr. Anan Kaseng, a son of Imam Yapa Kasang who also was arrested and detained together with his father and another 5 detainees on 19-20 Mar 2009. He observed the brutally treatment and witnessed the death of his father.
The next hearing is scheduled to be on 25 Dec 2009. On 19 September 2009, Mrs. Nimah Kaseng, wife of Imam Yapa, filed the criminal suit against five army officers of Taskforce 39 Rusoh District, one police officer of Rusoh Police station and other unidentified officers. The suit was filed under Criminal Procedure Code sections 157, 290, 295, 297, 309, 310, 81 and 91 and Section 26, 32 and 39 of the Thai Constitution. The plaintiff also alleged that the accused had violated the principles of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: CAT) which has been ratified by Thailand since 1 Nov 2007.
Mr. Rasada Manurasada, one of the lawyers who was appointed under the Access to Justice and Legal Protection program together with Muslim Attorney Center (MAC) to provide legal assistance to Mrs. Nimah Kaseng. Mr. Rasada Manurasada said “I was appointed as one of the lawyer team to also seek the opportunity to see the detention place or the incident site. It was named Army Taskforce 39 before changed to Taskforce 30 at Rusoh Sub-district, Rusoh District, Narathivath province. The camp was located at the Suantham Buddhist Temple. Since the first primary hearing was on 19 Oct 2009 therefore it was now the starting point of the criminal accusation by the family. However, the visit inside the Taskforce No. 30 was not allowed unless the court order or the permission by Army Commander Region 4 was approved”
Mr. Sitipong Jantarawiroj, Secretary General of Muslim Attorney Center (MAC) has also appointed MAC lawyers to assist on this case said that “This case will bring the proper legal standard to our society especially under counter-insurgency situation in the southern Thailand where the state officials enforced special laws both Martial Law and Emergency Decree and also there will be Internal Security Act applied in the 4 districts of Songkla Province. The officials shall perform their duties according to Rule of Laws principle and also respect human rights of people. This case, the Narathivath Court has delivered the inquest decision that Iman Yapa Kaseng was death due to the act of officials”
Mr. Somchai Homlaor, Chairperson of Cross Cultural Foundation added that “ The insurgency in the southern Thailand was not solved in any positive direction due to many factors however, we believed that since the government and officials did not understand or didn’t listen to the suggestion by United Nations once suggested that the counter-terrorism or counter-insurgency shall be successful only if the state(s) and officials respect human rights”
and he gave some observation that “When the officials exercised more powers under special laws such as Martial Law and Emergency Decree, the officials shall enforce their authorities more careful and more responsible, more transparent/accountable otherwise the abusive power will be used against people and that will lead the situation to be worsen. Then we will not successful in our counter insurgency in the southern Thailand”
More Detail please contact Access to Justice and Legal Protection Program,
Cross Cultural Foundation Tel. 02-6934939, 086-7093000 and
Muslim Attorney Center Tel. 089-873-1626