The Army’s story

20 06 2013

Since 2010, the Army has been denying that their actions resulted in any deaths when more than 90 persons died during the Abhisit Vejjajiva’s two crackdowns on red shirt protesters in April and May 2010. Very few military personnel have provided any testimony for any of the official inquiries into the deaths.

Now a report in Khaosod has details of one officer’s testimony to court in the inquest into the death of Reuters photographer Hiroyuki Muramoto on 10 April 2010. He stuck to the script, testifying “that the military were not responsible for the death…”. Of course, he blamed the mysterious “men in black.”

The major, who led soldiers from Prachinburi, wasn’t named as the “court has asked Khaosod not to publish the name of the witness, citing the need to protect the witness′ privacy and personal safety.”

From the Telegraph.

From the Telegraph.

The officer told the court his unit was “equipped with riot shields, batons, and shotguns loaded with rubber bullets. He said M-16 rifles and their ammunition were stored on battalion′s trucks.” He made the claim that the order to clear the red shirts “”explicitly instructed the soldiers to treat the protesters as innocent civilians, and firearms would be used only for ′self-defense′ or when the protesters started attacking public properties.”

The anonymous officer complains of red shirt “provocation” and claims “he saw 4-5 men clad in black and balaclava armed with AK-47 and M-16 rifles firing at the soldiers.” He declared that the Japanese photographer was shot by the MIB “because the armed men were known for their precise shooting skill and the Japanese was shot in the left side of his chest, a critical spot in the body.”

Reiterating that “his unit was not authorized to use live ammunition on that day,” and claims the dead and injured “were not the doing of the military…”.

Most of the evidence PPT saw on these events suggest that the military’s version of the story is concocted.