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Mediation Scheduled by Court on Damage Claim Against the Military: Private Wichean Case


In pursuant to a civil suit launched by Mrs. Prathuang Private Phuaksom, Private Wichean Phuaksom’s mother, asking for compensation from the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Thai Army, and the Office of the Prime Minister as the authorities are in charge of the military officers who allegedly tortured Private Wichean until he died, while he was a draftee. The incidence took place at Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Military Camp, Jao Ai Rong District, Narathiwat province.

At 09.00 on 1 October 2012, the Court ordered the transfer of the case to the Center for Mediation prior to the examination of prosecution witnesses since it is possible that a compromise can be reached in the mutual interest of both parties.  The mediation shall take place at 09.00 on 9 November 2012 and to expedite the process, the prosecution witness examination is set to begin on 18 December 2012 from 9.00-16.00.

Private Wichean Phuaksom used to ordain as a Buddhist monk and studied until he completed his Bachelor Degree in Buddhism with first class honors from the Faculty of Buddhist Study, Department of Religions, Maha chulalongkorn rajavidyalaya University and then received his Master Degree from the Faculty of Social Work, Thammasat University with outstanding academic performance. On 1 May 2011, Private Wichean applied as a draftee and went for training at the training center for draftees in the Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Military Camp, Jao Ai Rong District, Narathiwat province. On 1 June 2011, ten military officers allegedly physically abused him and tortured him claming he was to skip the training. As a result, he sustained serious injuries and later died on 5 June 2011. It was reported that he died of sudden renal failure due to severe muscle wounds.

A separate criminal suit has been filed against the trainers and other military officers who have fatally beaten Private Wichean, but it has progressed slowly. At present, the case is being reviewed for any criminal liability by the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) under the Ministry of Justice and not so much progress has been made.

Apart from its criminal and civil liability, severe and cruel punishment constitutes grave human rights violation and breaches Section 32 of the 2007 Constitution regarding the right and liberty in his or her life and person as well as breaches the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) to which Thailand is obliged to follow as a state party.

For more information, please contact;
– Mr. Manu Manuratsada, Attorney, LCT phone 02 282 9906
– Mr. Preeda Nakpew, Attorney, CrCF phone 02 693 4939