For immediate release on 24 July 2012
Press Release Mr. Assahari Samaae’s Post Mortem Inquest decision: He was tortured until he died
On 28 June 2012, the Provincial Court of Yala read out the verdict in the post mortem inquest trial regarding the death of Mr. Assahari Samaae in Black Case no. Ch 13/2552 and Red Case No. Ch8/2555 with the following summary;
Issue# 1 Death in custody
After reviewing the evidence, the Court believes that “from the time the deceased was arrested and held in custody by military and police officials in Moo 5, Tambon Sa-ae, Krongpenang District, Yala until he was taken to the Yala Central Hospital, he had always been held in custody by the arresting officials. Thus, the deceased died while held in custody by officials who claim that they had performed their official duties.”
Issue# 2 Cause of death
After reviewing the evidence, the Court believes that “the reason that Dr. Pracha wrote in the autopsy report that the death could have been caused by a brain contusion which resulted from of traffic accident was because Dr. Pracha was unaware of the background of the deceased. From the injury conditions, the medical doctor was convinced that the deceased must have been pressed with sheer pressure from outside. The deceased was arrested by the officials as a suspect and this was ascertained by the testimony of Lt. Col. Narongrit, Commander of Taskforce Battalion R173 in charge of the area in Krongpenang District, Yala.
The Commander received the deceased and others, altogether 10 individuals, from the arresting officials and was informed by a medical official at that time that the deceased had gone unconscious and shown no signs of response since he was at the Krongpenang Police Station. Lt. Col. Narongrit then instructed that the deceased be sent for physical examination and en route to the hospital, there were no mishaps. Therefore, the evidence indicates that the deceased must have suffered injuries beforehand, during the time that he was put under arrest by the military and police officials under the charge of Capt. Somkid Khongkhaeng and Pol. Capt. Khanchit Panchan. Witnesses including the arresting and detaining officials confirmed that they had performed their official duties.
Issue# 3 Circumstances that led to the injuries of Mr. Assahari
According to a briefing submitted to the Ad hoc Subcommittee for the Campaign Against Torture (court document exhibits .no. 17 and 19) an investigative report compiled by the local officials stated that the minor physical injuries sustained by some suspects could have resulted from their slipping and hitting up against hard objects such as boulders or tree trunks”. However, the briefing was simply facts compiled exclusively from the report of the arresting officials, and therefore it was only speculation that the injuries were sustained from slipping. The arresting officials who compiled the report are the same officials accused of physically assaulting Mr. Samaae.
Nevertheless, the information is not consistent with the conditions of injuries sustained by the deceased, including traces of contusions all over his body. It also contradicts the injuries found on the bodies of other persons being held in custody as examined and recorded by the medical doctors. In addition, witnesses, including those arrested at the same time as the deceased, had given consistent information that they had been subjected to physical assault, and their testimonies are also found to be consistent with the results of the autopsy on Mr. Samaae and pictures taken of his body. The wounds were first treated by Dr. Thaksin, a medical doctor from the Ingkhayudh Borihan Army Camp Hospital and he has written a report describing the conditions of injury in an outpatient medical record of the Hospital which has
taken as supporting evidence.
In addition, when Mrs. Baedao, the deceased’s mother, went to seek remedies from the Yala Provincial Governor Office, she was informed in a written document that since the deceased had died in custody, she was not eligible to receive any compensation. All the evidence, oral and documentary, adduced by the deceased’s parents showed consistency and it was also consistent with the opinions of the medical doctors who gave treatment to the deceased at the Ingkhayudh Borihan Army Camp Hospital, the Pattani Provincial Hospital and the Yala Central Hospital. As a result, the autopsy report conducted on the deceased carries significant weight.
Based on the above evidence, the Court is convinced that the deceased was subjected to physical assault which caused him to obtain several injuries which led to his death.
Issue# 4 Conclusion
The Court pronounced that the deceased was Mr. Assahari Samaae, who died at the Yala Central Hospital on 22 July 2007. The cause of death was a brain contusion. The circumstances that led to Mr. Samaae’s death were as follows: he was arrested and held in custody by military and police officials and he was physically assaulted by these military and police officials. As a result, he sustained injuries. He was sent to the Ingkhayudh Borihan Army Camp Hospital, and then to the Pattani Provincial Hospital and finally to the the Yala Central
Hospital where he passed away.
For more information, please contact, Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), Ms. Bhavinee Chumsri, phone 083-1896598