9 Years of waiting, Military prosecutors file a case against 9 soldiers in Narathiwat who attacked Army conscript Wichian Pueksom, resulting in his death in 2011

9 Years of waiting, Military prosecutors file a case against 9 soldiers in Narathiwat who attacked Army conscript Wichian Pueksom, resulting in his death in 2011.

News report

Military Prosecution filed charges against 10 officers who tortured Wichian Pueksom

To military court Ingkhayuth Administration Camp, Pattani Province             

As a result of the events that occurred on the June 1st, 2011, Army Conscript Wichian Pueksom was severely tortured in the training facility, to the point where his injuries were severe enough that he lost his life. Mr. Wichian Pueksom had registered and applied for a shorter regular military service due to the compulsory of army conscription. He was later transfer for training in the training facility in Cho Ai Rong district, Narathiwat province, where he was later ganged up on by multiple officers who then proceeded to jointly physically torture him with the reasoning that Mr. Wichian Pueksom had intentionally tried to run away from training. This torture eventually led to severe injuries, and death on June 5th, 2011 from acute kidney failure due to massive physical trauma. Mr. Wichian was still in his monkhood during his master degree in Thammasat university prior to his army conpulsary conscription after his graduation in 2011.

The civil case on May 24, 2012 where Mrs. Prathuang Puaksom, mother of the deceased, with Miss Narisarawan Kaewnopparat as a plaintiff, filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Defence, the Army and the Prime Minister’s office as defendants in the Black case no.2072/2555 under the Civil court, for damage compensation under the Officer’s Violation Liability Act 1996. With the amount to be compensated to the mother of the deceased totaling up to 7,049,213 baht, in accordance with the order of the Prime minister arising from a violation of an officer’s actions done with willful negligence. The court has sentenced the case to be finalized according to the compromise agreement on February 21, 2014.

The criminal case is under the jurisdiction of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), which has been continuously investigating the statements, until July 2015, where the NACC determined that the wrongdoers were the military officers, consisting of a 2nd lieutenant, along with 9 subordinates (totaling 10 individuals) and were sentenced as committing an offence or abstaining from officer duty, which led to cause damage to another individual.

The overall criminal case proceedings lasted over 9 years, so the military prosecution has extended the lawsuit in the 46th Army court, located within Ingkhayuthboriharn Camp, Pattani province, on November 11, 2020, at 9:00 am. Resulting that 9 military officers were charged with one officer run away, all 9 military officers were released on bail.

News concerning violence and brutality in the Army is a frequent occurrence, with a recent case, which can be found through online news sources, concerns the case of military personnel Pichawat Wiangnon, who was found dead with a noose around his neck in a sink in the restroom in PrasertSongkram military camp, Chiang Kwan district, Roi Et province, and it is also important to note that Pichawat’s friends and relatives do not believe that it was a suicide. Futhermore, the latest case on November 9th, 2020, where the press was notifed by relatives of the deceased that there was another incident, in the military camp located in Petchaburi where military personnel Sathaporn Peadpad lost his life at 22 years of age on November 6th 2020. Currently, his relatives have taken the body to Wat Non Sawan Jang temple at Petchaburi for funeral proceedings. Amidst all the sorrow and loss of the relatives of the deceased, it calls into the question the necessity of this needless violence within the military.

This situation where there are deaths of military personnel in various areas occurring with relative frequency is another prompt for the cancelling of conscription to the military. However, it appears that the army and the state are not responding to this request. In addition, there has been no attempts to rectify or improve the current situation for military personnel and conscripts to prevent situations such as the case of Mr. Wichian Pueksom, Mr Pichawat, or numerous other cases from happening again, which would make the military much more trustworthy in the eyes of society.

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