Further updated: Autopsy results shed little light on protest deaths

23 08 2010

According to a report in The Nation regarding the 91 deaths associated with red shirt protests and the government crackdowns: “Autopsies on 89 Thais, including 11 policemen and soldiers, confirmed that all had died from bullet wounds.” The two foreign journalists – the Japanese Hiroyuki Muramoto and Italian Fabio Polenghi, which just a couple of days ago the Department of Special Investigation said were incomplete, also shows death by bullet wounds. In their cases it is now stated that they were killed by high-velocity bullets. The Bangkok Post story cited below claims that the DSI knows the weapons used in these two cases. It does not report what weapons they were.

The interesting thing about this brief report is the statement that all 91 died of bullet wounds. PPT wonders if this can be correct when at least one of those killed was Colonel Romklao Thuwatham, who received a royally-attended funeral way back in April and was said at the time to have been targeted by an M79 grenade.

The Bangkok Post report is probably accurate when it states that the DSI has made “little progress.” In fact, after all this time, the DSI “cannot at this stage reach a finding in its investigation into the deaths of 91 people killed in the violence between April 10 and May 21…”. The same report states that the DSI also states that it “… cannot yet disclose details on the individual autopsies of those killed. We have not obtained all the information needed and many pieces of the jigsaw are still missing.  We can only say that we will establish the truth. For now, we cannot yet make an overall conclusion on the death of the 91 people. We need more time to investigate in order to know who caused the deaths…”.

Then this curious addendum: “The DSI deputy chief called for the mass media to give the authorities concerned justice, saying that not all of the 91 were killed by the authorities because ‘armed men in black’ were also involved in the violent incidents during the prolonged anti-government protests.” Sounds very much like the things that were said at the time. Has really no progress been made?

Update 1: See the report in The Nation, where human rights activists and relatives of those killed condemn the DSI’s “report.” Some relatives pointed to DSI’s politicization and Human Rights Watch Thailand researcher Sunai Phasuk is quoted as saying that “he was not satisfied with the DSI’s announcement of the preliminary autopsy results, as there was no information about cause of death or the type of weapons that killed victims during the clashes.” More here.

Update 2: The Thai Report has a bunch of useful stories linked on the DSI’s report.



3 responses

27 08 2010
Reconciliation failing in a climate of fear « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] she begins with the black comedy that is the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and the autopsies they claim to have considered in their “investigation” of the victims of the government’s two violent attacks […]

3 09 2010
DSI on the job « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] on the job Following its pathetic report a week or so ago on the deaths of 91 people, mainly red-shirt protesters,  associated with the […]

6 04 2011
More army lies | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Fabio was shot and died late that morning. (For earlier PPT posts on this case see here, here, here, and here.) A guardian […]

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