Thailand: HR networks statement on Extra-judicial killing in Ayuthaya (English version)

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Embargoed until December 19, 2010

Public Statement
Extrajudicial Killing of “Joke Phaikeaw”

In pursuant to the case in which Mr. Chanchai Prasongsin, aka “Joke Phaikeaw”, 29 years, was accused of shooting into a car making Phokin Deephew, aka “Nong Tomi”, die of gun injury on December 4, 2010 and Mr. Nopphon Prasongsin, aka, “Jib Phaikeaw”, his younger brother, was believed to be the driver of the motorcycle on which Mr. Joke rode. Later on December 11, Mr. Chanchai Prasongsin was killed during an attempt by police officials to arrest him at the Smile Mansion, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. Lately, the video clip of the extrajudicial killing was made accessible via youtube.
According to the video clip, it appeared the police were in control of the situation when Mr. Joke was shot. He was then shot at again in order to prevent him from shooting back and to ensure the officials’ safety. There was no firing back from Mr. Joke after that. Yet, while the police walked to toward the crime scene, they decided to shoot three more rounds. It was reported that Mr. Joke was fatally shot four times into his head, but no other injuries were detected. On December 17, Pol. Gen. Assawin Kwanmuang claimed the clip was doctored to show that he had arrived at the crime scene before Mr. Joke was gunned down. In fact, according to him, he arrived there after Mr. Joke was shot dead. Nevertheless, he failed to explain if the reshooting scene was doctored as well or not.
The Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) and other undersigned organizations would like to make the following observations, proposals and demand toward all relevant sectors as follows;
1) We would like to extend our deep condolence to the Deephew family of Nong Tomi and urge all concerned agencies to provide for remedies and to carry out investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice.
2) With regard to the competent officials who are vulnerable to physical harm and death, the existing laws provide for safeguard measures and allow them to carry out proper self-defence or to act to prevent harm against other people. Such self-defence is lawful. But should the self-defence is committed in an excessive manner; the officials have to be held liable for the results. According to the reports, Mr. Joke died of four bullets being shot into his head and no other injuries were found. It appeared that he was shot into his head in the first place and was not able to shoot back at the police. But the video clip shows that while walking toward Mr. Joke, the police shot three more bullets, despite his not being able to shoot back. The reshooting could be considered an excessive and inhumane act which shall not be tolerated by the self-defence laws.
3) The autopsy and post mortem inquest should be conducted promptly as required by Section 150 of the Criminal Procedure Code, since the death occurred during the official custody. Initially, the shooters have to be inquired and the extrajudicial killing report be made in order to facilitate the intervention of independent agencies which may want to carry out another investigation to provide necessary checks and balances.
4) The Prime Minister, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, was quoted as telling Krungthem Thurakit published on March 8, 2009 that as for the government policy on drugs, the use of violent suppression may induce just short-term effectiveness, but it will eventually make the problems become more complicated and difficult to solve. In addition, he said that though the suppression of drugs has to be made decisively, but has to follow the rule of law.
Therefore, the undersigned organizations would like to urge all officials to execute the narcotic suppression policy under the due process of law and based on respect of human rights as per the policy spelled out by the incumbent government. And the government is obliged to ensure that the officials enforce the laws and policy effectively as stipulated. The use of excessive forces and unlawful measures by the executing officials shall never be commended. And it if happens so, the officials using excessive forces have to be held liable to set an example for other officials and to encourage them to carry out their duties more carefully.
5. General public and media should get involved in monitoring the acts of the police and should get over the stereotypical thinking that the “alleged offenders” or “alleged villains” should not enjoy their rights to justice process or should be suppressed as if their guilt has already been proven. In particular, the media should not report in such a manner to support the use of violent measures by the officials. Such prejudices shall simply compromise guarantees of rights and liberties and undermine our acceptable standards which may have led to more violations of human rights or to make us take violence for granted.

Killing shall not bring to a halt killing and crime in society

Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
Union of Civil Liberties (UCL)
Campaign Committee for Human Rights (CCHR)
Cross-Cultural Foundation (CrCF)
Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)

More information, please contact, Ms. Junjira Junpaew: 02-6934939 email: