At 9.00 am, the Civil Court held a meeting to mediate in a suit filed for damage claim as Private Wichean Phuaksom had been subjected to punishment by military trainers in Jao Ai Rong District, Narathiwat province, causing him to die. Present at the Court today were Mrs. Prathuang Private Phuaksom, Private Wichean Phuaksom’s mother, as plaintiff, and a representative from the Royal Thai Army, second defendant, and a representative from the Office of the Prime Minister (Internal Security Operations Command – ISOC), third defendant.
At the mediation, an agreement was reached to provide for remedies to the plaintiff, though the representatives of the defendants asked to bring the matter to their respective agencies for final approval, and it would take some time. Thus, the next mediation was scheduled take place on 13 December 2012 at 09.00 am.
Prior to the case, 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, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya 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.