For immediate release on 17 May 2019
Media are invited to attend the hearing:
Abay Moo’s and Chaiyaphum Pasae’s families demanding damages from the Royal Thai Army as Abay Moo and Chaiyaphum Pasae have allegedly been shot dead by soldiers
On 15 February 2017 in Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai, soldiers stationed at Ban Rin Luang checkpoint, Tambon Muang Na, Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai have allegedly shot dead Abay Moo (an ethnic Lisu). They claimed it was a lawful act of self-defense as Abay was about to throw at the soldiers a hand grenade. It was further alleged that Abay had in his possession two caps of heroin hidden in his shoulder bag. The incidence took place on the road between Ban Rin Luang-Ban Pah Bong Ngam Lisu, a bit further from Ban Rin Luang checkpoint.
Then on 17 March 2017, another unit of soldiers also stationed at Ban Rin Luang checkpoint shot dead Chaiyaphum Pasae (an ethnic Lahu). The soldiers assaulted Chaiyaphum Pasae and shot him while he ran for help. The authority alleged that Chaiyaphum had then resisted the arrest and was about to throw a grenade at the officers. As a result, the officers had to shoot him dead. The incidence took place at Ban Rin Luang checkpoint. Chaiyaphum Pasae was a youth activist and was studying in a school in Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai. Later the Chiang Mai Provincial Court in its post-mortem inquest on the death of Abay ruled that Abay was found dead on a rugged road between Ban Rin Luang-Ban Pah Bong Ngam Lisu. His death was caused by bullets fired from an M-16 rifle used by Private Chonwee Khamanaek. As to the post-mortem inquest of Chaiyaphum, the Court ruled that he was found dead at Ban Rin Luang checkpoint as a result of bullets fired from an M-16 rifle used by Private Surasak Rattanawan. Both cases share many similarities and took place just one month apart. The post-mortem inquest rulings do not deprive the families of their right to seek damages for the deceased and the families are still skeptical about the circumstances around the deaths. They believe their children have been murdered by soldiers who had applied an excessive use of force. Therefore, they have decided to take the Royal Thai Army to court to demand damages from the agency which is in charge of the two soldiers.
Media or interested persons are invited to attend the hearing on 22 May 2019 at the Bangkok Civil Court on Ratsadapiesek Road at 9.00am.
For more information, please contact: Pranom Somwong phone +66831887600
Mr. Preeda Nakpew, attorney, phone 089-6222474 Mr. Ratsada Manuratsada, attorney, phone 081-4394938