Updated: CPJ and RWB on Hiro Muramoto’s death

25 03 2011

The Department of Special Investigation has now officially concluded that “government security forces did not kill Reuters photographer Hiro Muramoto during political violence in Bangkok on April 10, 2010.”

However, the Committee to Protect Journalists, has expressed grave concern that the “investigation was not transparent, [and] has called for a full, independent investigation into the Japanese journalist’s death.” And so they should. The Abhisit Vejjajiva government and its political lackeys at the DSI have, with the assistance of the military, made this “investigation” a farce.

Muramoto (Reuters)

DSI chief Tharit Pengdit announced the “finding.” He said that only “new evidence” could change the verdict. Of course, earlier, following pressure from the Army’s top brass, an interim verdict holding state official responsible was overturned.

As the CPJ points out, the military “has repeatedly denied responsibility for any of the 91 deaths that occurred during the violence.” More concerning, the “government has declined to disclose evidence in the Muramoto case and others.” The CPJ says it has “repeatedly called on the Thai government to make public closed-circuit footage in its possession that shows the area where Muramoto was believed to have been working at the time of his death.” Nothing has been released.

The CPJ reflects: “We’ve expressed fears of a whitewash in the past, and this most recent development underlines our reasons for concern. While the government’s investigation into the shooting death of Hiro Muramoto technically remains open, we question the intention of the government to carry out a full, independent inquiry…”.

The whole process of investigating these tragic events has been a sham and a disgrace.

Update: Reporters Without Borders has weighed in with a comment on this “investigation” that they call “utterly unsatisfactory.” They add that: “The provisional conclusion one year after the event that the security forces did not fire the shot that killed Muramoto, who worked for Reuters, betrays a reluctance to shed light on the circumstances of his death and identify those responsible…”. Further, “In Reporters Without Borders’ view, the authorities have gradually and subtly suppressed the investigation although the foreign ministry had originally insisted that the commission created to investigate the violence would be independent.”



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28 03 2011
Updated: Abhisit’s royalist boomerang and the failure of royalist reform | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Maybe being responsible for dozens of deaths is human. But we forget: the military and government continue to claim that security forces killed not a single […]

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