Attasith insisting it’s not fake news, urging CCIB to drop charges against Sunai
Witness summoning being used to suppress the revelation on his alleged torture
Pursuant to the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB)’s summoning of Sunai Phasuk related to a twitter message which states that “Barbaric! Yet another victim of torture by Din Daeng Police Station. Attasith was arrested while participating in #Mob29October21 and brought to an interrogation in the police station. He was punched, kicked, strangled, and smacked against the chair. He was hit by truncheon on his ribs and had a chokehold until he nearly suffocated. Song Twit Yam Chai”. Sunai is prepared to meet the police as summoned on 31 October 2022.
“I feel an effort is being made to turn my complaint that I had been tortured by police of the Din Daeng Police Station into a false story and an attempt to discredit an institution. This happens even though I have reported the case against the police in good faith and complained with the House Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights, the Din Daeng Police Station, and the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI). My case is being investigated by various public agencies and it has even been brought up to the United Nations” said Mr. Attasith Nussa, a victim of torture who was forced to make a confession.
“By summoning a human rights activist, it is an indirect intimidation and an attempt to turn it into a false account. It is incumbent on the authorities to work more prudently. They should not make an assumption by solely relying on information from the public authorities. I will be there to show my solidarity and am ready to give more information about the act of torture that day. I am ready to launch civil, criminal, and disciplinary actions based on the facts and in good faith” said Mr. Attasith Nussa.
On 24 October 2022, the Thailand’s Government Gazette published the Act on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance B.E. 2022 which will come into force in the next 120 days. In its Article 5 under the Chapter on General Provisions prescribes that a person who is a public official and has intentionally inflicted severe pain or suffering, physical or mental, for any purpose shall be held liable for committing a criminal offence. Even though this law shall not apply to this case which would go under the existing laws, at least we are going to have a higher legal standard which can enhance the effort to prevent the reoccurrence of such incidence.
Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) and Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) urge media and the public to closely monitor the case. We shall continue to demand justice and take legal action. The laws and the Act shall help set a legal precedence to ensure public officials refrain from exercising extrajudicial power and committing gross human rights violation like in this case.
The case stems from an incidence on 29 October 2021 around 18.00, Mr. Attasith Nussa has gone to participate in a candle vigil held to commemorate and demand justice for the death of Warit Somnoi, a 15-year-old-child, who was shot dead in front of the Din Daeng Police Station when there was a public assembly in the area. During the commemoration, Atthasit was put under arrest by officials from the Din Daeng Police Station and held in custody inside the police station for one night. He was allegedly subjected to physical assault to force him to make a confession. This was proven by photos showing the wounds he suffered including bleeding in his eye. Atthasit was released on the afternoon of 30 October 2021. Later, Mr. Attasith Nussa and attorneys from Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) and Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) have reported the case with the Din Daeng Police Station and lodged complaints with various agencies including the House Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights and DSI urging them to investigate the case and to take legal action against concerned officials.
On the day of the incidence, there were two victims of torture including Mr. Weeraphap and Mr. Attasith. Both have given evidence to the House Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights since 11 November 2021. Later, on 17 November 2021, the Director General of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Mr. Traiyarit Temahiwong, has asked the Expert on Special Investigation and Deputy Spokesperson of DSI, Pol Maj Col Woranan Srilam to accept the complaint submitted by CrCF, Mr. Attasith Nussa and Mr. Weeraphap Wongsaman, aka “Alif” concerning how Atthasit and Weeraphap had been physically abused by officials of the Din Daeng Police Station to force them to make a confession. The complaint has been under investigation. On 10 March 2022, Mr. Attasith Nussa, the injured party and two witnesses including an attorney, Attasith proposed as a witness a reporter from Side Story online media who took photo when the officials of the Din Daeng Police Station held him in custody and physically abused Atthasit in front of the police station on 29 October 2021. All of them have given evidence to the Inquiry Committee of the Metropolitan Police Division 1 as well.
On 24 October 2022, the Thailand’s Government Gazette published the Act on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance 2022 which will come into force in the next 120 days. In its Article 5 under the Chapter on General Provisions prescribes that a person who is a public official and has intentionally inflicted severe pain or suffering, physical or mental, for such purpose as:
(1) To obtain information or a confession from affected person or a third person;
(2) To punish the affected person for the act that such person or the third party has committed or is suspected of having committed;
(3) To threaten or coerce affected person or a third person; or
(4) For any reason based on discrimination of any kind, Such person shall be held liable for an act of torture.