English version released on 22 Jan 2015

Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)

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Judge-Rapporteur of Supreme Administrative Court was convinced severe physical and psychological injuries had been inflicted on the plaintiff when he was  18

On 20 January 2558 at 10.15am, the Supreme Administrative Court conducted the first hearing on the Black Case no. O464/2555 at Court Room 12, the Office of the Administrative Court, 3rd Floor (Government Complex, Chaeng Wattana Rd.) in the case between Mr. Rayu Khordor, the plaintiff, v. the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Thai Army, the Royal Thai Police, and the Office of the Prime Minister, defendants no.1-4 respectively, regarding the tortuous act committed by an administrative agency or state officials while exercising their legal duties.

Present at the Court were Mr. Rayu Dorkor, plaintiff, Mr. Preeda Nakpew and Mr.  Rasada  Manurassada, legal representatives. The four defendants were absent.  Among trial observers are representatives from various human rights organizations and International organizations including a Director from  the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), the United Nations, the Embassy of Canada in Thailand, along with  other human rights organizations.

The judge-commissioner of justice, the Supreme Administrative Court (the Fifth Panel) commenced the hearing and considered all evidences from the plaintiff who was a victim of torture including his oral statement and his lawyer oral statement, and then to listen to the statement made by the Judge-rapporteur makes the conclusions of the case.

Convinced by the facts in the complaint, since no rebuttal of the facts has been made by the defendants, Judge-rapporteur believes that the plaintiff had been forced to participate in a press conference which presented false information and that he had been subjected to severe physical and mental assault, since he was only 18 years of age and underage. He was even held in custody together with other adults. The facts are attested to by examination reports from medical doctors at the Ingkhayuth Borihan Military Camp Hospital and from the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). The Judge deems fit that the defendant no. 4, the Office of the Prime Minister, as the agency in charge of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) to be held liable for redress to be paid to the plaintiff for; infringement on his body, health, and mental wellbeing, as well as his rights and liberty; and for compensation for the damage to his reputation for being brought to participate in a press conference, compensation for the lost earnings, including his rubber tapping and general waged labor, altogether for the amount of 233,036 baht plus 7.5% per annum of interest of the capital of 202,640 baht from the filing date until all payment is made to the plaintiff. The decision can be divided into two main points;

(1) Should the four defendants be held liable to provide indemnities to plaintiff or not? It was decided that since the defendants no. 1, 2 and 3 (Ministry of Defense, Royal Thai Army and Royal Thai Police) have recruited personnel from  the Internal Security Operations Command Region (ISOC Region 4 Forward) under the charge of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), and since the ISOC is established as an organ under the Office of the Prime Minister, the defendant no.4, any tortuous act committed by an official under ISOC therefore falls under the responsibility of defendant no. 4, while the defendants no. 1, 2 and 3 cannot be held liable for the compensation. Therefore, the defendant (no.4) must be held liable for the compensation of the plaintiff who has been subjected to infringement on his body, health, mental wellbeing, and rights and freedom.

(2) The defendant no. 4 complains to the Court that the compensation requested is too high. It was decided that the act of the officials was unlawful since the plaintiff was simply a suspect. Also, it was very improper to hold the plaintiff who was underage in custody with  adults. He was even brought to participate in a press conference, albeit he had committed no offence. He was inflicted with bodily injuries simply to make him confess to the charge. It is deemed fit that the indemnities and compensation for bodily harm and health should come to 100,000 baht and compensation for the damage done to his reputation as a result of being brought to the press conference for the amount of 100,000 baht, the compensation for the lost earning including rubber tapping and general waged labor for 22 days, being 120 baht/day, or 2,640 baht.

Altogether, the compensation would come to 202,640 baht plus 7.5% per annum of interest counting from 19 March 2008 when the tortuous act was committed to the filing date, two years later, or the amount of 30,396 baht. In total, the defendant no. 4 is required to provide the plaintiff the amount of 233,036 baht plus 7.5% per annum of interest of the capital of 202,640 baht from the filing date until all payment is made to the plaintiff.

In addition on 20 Jan 2015 The legal representative of the plaintiff has submitted a written statement to the Court and Mr. Rayu Dorkor has made an oral statement to the Judge Panel affirming that the military and police officials conducted a cordon and search operation and arrested him from his residence while he, his mother, and brothers and sisters were sleeping. He was mixed with family members of Imam Yapha Kaseng, a religious leader in the community, and they were then brought to a press conference at the police station. Then, he was held in custody inside a holding cell on a truck belonging to the police and parked in the Taskforce 39 located in Wat Suan Tham,  Rusoh District, Narathiwat. There, he was subjected to gruesome and brutal assaults committed by the military officials including being slapped, hit, kicked, hung up side down from the ceiling by his legs for several hours on end, being jabbed with a needle under his eyes, his fingernails, his genitalia, being applied with chopped fresh chili on his chest, being soaked with beer on his chest and face; causing grave injuries to his body and mind.

Mr.  Rasada Manurassada, his legal representative, asked for an opportunity to make a further oral statement in two points. First, the torture incidence took place at the same time Imam Yapha Kaseng was tortured to death, reflecting  the heinous nature of the torture committed by the officials. The Court is asked to make a decision which would constitute a precedent to prevent the furtherance of such incidents. Also, the Supreme Administrative Court is asked to determine the amount of compensation for physical assault and torture in light of Section 32 of the 2007 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand and the UN Convention against Torture.

The Judge Panel of the Supreme Administrative Court shall convene and deliberate the case and will inform the parties of the date when the decision shall be made via postal communication.

For more information, please contact Mr. Preeda Nakpew, attorney of the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), at 02-6934939 or 089-6222474