Wife of Imam Yapa Kaseng filed a criminal lawsuit against five army officers and one police officer with respect to coercion, arbitrary detention, torturing to death in army custody.
On Thursday 20 Aug 2009, at 15.00 pm Narathivath Provincial Court accepted the criminal law suit; the case back no. 1611/ 2009. The first preliminary hearing will be on 19 October 2009 at 13.30.
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.
The plaintiff’s file explained that the incident happened on 19 Mar 2008. Taskforce 39 army officers joined with police persons of Rusoh Police station and arrested and detained Mr. Yapa Kaseng, Mr. Aming and Mr. Anan Kaseng (two sons of Mr. Yapa Kaseng), Mr. Masakree Layee, Mr. Rayu Dokor and Mr. Sukrinai Lohmah. The arrested persons were villagers from Rusoh district, Narathivath Province.
They were presented along with physical evidence at a press conference and announced to be suspects relating to terrorism. Later the 6 detainees were handed over to Army Taskforce 39 located in Suantham Temple, Rusoh District, Narathivath Province. The 6th defendant who is a police officer at Rusoh Police station provided a six wheel truck to be used to detain the 6 arrested persons in Army Taskforce 39 at Suantham Temple. The detainees were tortured and ill treated as the truck was not suitable place for detention.
There was no proper place to lie down, no toilet and no suitable place for performing Islamic religious prayers. The six defendants have violated Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: CAT) and Thai Constitution Section 32 (2). In addition, the act of six defendants and others are also violating the criminal code provisions relating to offences of coercion, arbitrary detention.
On 20 March 2008 after midnight till 21 March 2008, defendants no 2 to no. 5 and other unidentified accused person physically abused Mr. Yapa Kaseng, leading to his death in army custody. Mr. Yapa Kaseng was tortured to force him to confess to be terrorist conducting terrorist act in the three provinces in the south.
Mr. Yapa Kaseng was kicked and hit on body and face for about one hour and after which he was brought back to the six wheels truck. Later the 2nd -6th defendants and unidentified accused persons kicked Mr. Yapa Kaseng and brought him out from the truck to torture once again till he could not walk. Later Mr. Yapa Kaseng was dragged and hit by heavy object together with a number of kicking, hitting all over the body and face at the same time he was asked to confess. Later he was dragged to the truck.
The other detainees found that his wound was severe and his rip was broken, his lung was damaged. The plaintiff filed the case against the defendants’ no.1- no. 6 together with unidentified accused persons on the offences of coercion, arbitrary detention, torturing to death in army custody including misconduct as officers causing the damage to the plaintiff and family.
Additional, Narathivath Provincial court has delivered the court decision on the inquest trial of Mr. Yapa Kasang since 25th Dec 2008. The decision of Black case files no. Or-chor 9/2551 (2008) and become Red case file no. Or-chor 15/2551 (2008) stated that under the criminal court Section 150, the court has examined the cause of the death of Mr. Yapa Kasang and stated that Mr. Yapa Kasang died on 21 Mar 2008 at the Army Taskforce 39 located at Suantham Temple, Moo 2, Rusoh-ok sub district, Rusoh District, Narathivath Province.
The death of Mr. Yapa Kasang was caused by the act of officers who physically abused him till his rib was broken and his lung was damaged during the army custody while the officers were conducting their official duties.
In relation to the case, on 19 Mar 2009, there are two civil lawsuits at Bangkok Civil court;
- Black case file no. 1084/2552 (2009),Imam Yapa Kaseng’s wife and four children filed a civil suit against the Defence Ministry, Royal Thai Army and Royal Thai Police to demand 15 million baht in compensation. The 56-year-old Imam Yapa Kaseng was tortured and killed by soldiers while being questioned on March 20 last year at the army’s 39th Task Force camp in Rueso district, Narathiwat. The lawsuit was filed following a ruling in December 2008 by Narathiwat Court that the imam was killed while in military custody. The first primary hearing is scheduled on 28 September 2009 at 13.30 at Bangkok Civil court.
- Black case file no. 1086/2552 (2009), Ms. Saleema Hama, the mother of Mr. Rayu Doko, 18 year old boy, filed the civil lawsuit demanding about 1 million compensation from the Defence Ministry, Royal Thai Army and Royal Thai Police Mr. Raya Doko was detained with Mr.Yapa Kaseng and experienced the same brutal treatment. The first primary hearing is scheduled on 31 Aug 2009 at 9.00 at Bangkok Civil court
More detail please contact: Access to Justice and Legal Protection program