Updated: Torture and the military

13 10 2014

Late last week, PPT missed a revealing article at Prachatai that has been pointed out to us by a reader. The article sets out the use of ill-treatment and torture by the military.

Groups of anti-coup student activists in Bangkok and Mahasarakham were “allegedly blindfolded, threatened with being killed and suffered minor assaults.”

Earlier, Kritsuda Khunasen “claimed that the military subjected her to blindfolding, beatings, sexual harassment, and suffocation.”

The military denied these allegations.

Later, the “Thai Lawyers for Human Rights revealed … that at least 14 people were allegedly tortured physically and psychologically by the army…. The torture allegations included beatings and electrocution.”

More denials.

Prachatai has now interviewed three people “who were arrested after the 22 May coup d’état and were allegedly tortured during detention.” Their “accounts of alleged torture include electric shocks to the genitals, suffocation, continuous beatings all night, and detention in a hole in the ground, while the hole was being filled.”

This will be denied by the military and police. However, the fact is that torture is standard practice in Thailand. As just one example of many, see this Amnesty International Report. The report notes that ” torture and other ill-treatment, and the lack of accountability for torturers, remains sufficiently frequent and widespread that it cannot be dismissed as the work of a few errant subordinates in isolated instances.”

Update: Readers will find these reports from the past couple of days provide more evidence of the widespread use of torture.

The first is from Prachatai:

Five suspects, accused of being the ‘Men in Black’, recanted their confessions, and said their confessions were made under duress due to alleged torture and ill-treatment during military detention, according to their lawyer. The police accused them of using illegal weapons during the political violence in April 2010, according to their lawyers….

[Their lawyer] Winyat said the suspects have just retracted their statements because they had only just secured legal representation. The five were arrested and detained under martial law. During pre-charge detention, they could not contact their families or lawyers and were allegedly ill-treated.

After they agreed to confess, the military handed them to the police and the police held a press conference….

The second is from The Nation, reproduced in full:

In a rare move, three major human rights groups yesterday jointly criticised Thailand for denying redress to an alleged victim of torture from the deep South.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) issued a joint statement Monday calling for the Prayut Chan-o-cha government to comply with its international human rights obligation to provide remedies and reparation to victims of torture or other ill-treatment.

On October 7, Pattani Provincial Court ruled that Hasan Useng, an alleged victim of torture and other ill-treatment by the state was not entitled to judicial remedies and reparation under Article 32 of the Kingdom’s 2007 Constitution because the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) terminated the charter after the May 22 coup.

The petition was filed by Hasan Useng’s sister on May 2, before the coup took place, however. The allegation involved Hasan Useng being taken to the Inkhayuthaborihan Military Camp in Pattani in April where “military personnel allegedly kicked him and ordered him to do several hundred push-ups and jumping jacks on the hot concrete with his bare feet”.

 


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