Further updated: “Managing” witnesses to military murder

16 03 2015

Under martial law, the military dictatorship can do pretty much what it wants. Of course, when it comes to politics and political murder, the military has long had impunity. No military officer is ever brought to justice for political crimes. While several court inquests have found that soldiers were responsible for the deaths of some of those killed in the crackdowns on red shirt protesters in 2010, no one has yet been convicted for these deaths.

That said, there has been some activity against Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, who were the civilian leaders of the Democrat Party government that was put in place by the military and its palace allies in late 2008, and which presided over the crackdown. Most recently, the National Anti-Corruption Commission has declared that the two should face “abuse of power” charges for overseeing the crackdown.

Abhisit’s response brought the military back into the picture with statements about and by Generals Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prawit Wongsuwan and Anupong Paojinda and their roles in the murder of red shirts.

Probably not coincidentally, it is now reported that an important witness to the events at Wat Pathum Wanaram has been taken away, allegedly by military officers. Khaosod reports that volunteer nurse Nattathida Meewangpla, “who witnessed the killing of two fellow medics by soldiers in a Bangkok temple during the 2010 crackdown on Redshirt protesters has been abducted from her home by security officers…” on 11 March.

Family members report that “Nattathida received a phone call from men who said they wanted to visit her home and discuss a possible land purchase. However, the potential buyers turned out to be two soldiers and three plain-clothed security officers, who arrived at Nattathida’s house and ordered her to come with them for interrogation.” These men declared “they didn’t need a warrant to detain Nattathida because they were acting under martial law…”.

Her family states:

“They simply told her to bring some clothes. They didn’t say on what charges they arrested her…. They didn’t say where they were taking her, and they wouldn’t let us photograph them. We have been too afraid to tell the police.”

Col. Winthai Suwaree, the spokesperson for the military dictatorship, “denied that soldiers detained Nattathida, and suggested that ‘individuals with ill-intention’ might have falsely claimed to act in the junta’s name in order to ‘mislead society’.” Given the military’s dark and bloody record, few might have believed him. Fewer still when he made the ludicrous claim that “every action and mission of the security officers is in accordance with boundary of the laws…”.

Update 1: In the last paragraph above, we have the words of junta mouthpiece Col. Winthai Suwaree. Reports of this case now demonstrate that the junta spokesman is a liar who should never be believed. Khaosod reports that Nattathida has now “emerged from six days of military detention today, a day after the junta denied any involvement in her arrest.” Never believe a bunch of liars in green uniforms who think the public is dense and stupid, and not just those who vote for Thaksin Shinawatra parties; they think everyone is as dense as the military bosses. She was taken on Tuesday to police headquarters “in a van belonging to the 11th Army District.” It is not clear that she has been charged with any crimes.

Update 2: The Bangkok Post now reports that Nattathida is alleged to have “colluded with suspects in the March 7 Criminal Court bombing.” Police claim she was in a “money trail” linking the bombers. So far, we see no reason to believe anything in this, not least because the people telling the story are demonstrated liars.


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19 03 2015
Bombs, red shirts, martial law and torture | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] conducted without transparency and accountability. The latest case of its kind of the detention of Ms. Nutthathida Meewangpla which was made known later that she had been subjected to military custody. The deprivation of […]

19 03 2015
Bombs, red shirts, martial law and torture | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] conducted without transparency and accountability. The latest case of its kind of the detention of Ms. Nutthathida Meewangpla which was made known later that she had been subjected to military custody. The deprivation of […]

19 03 2015
Beggars belief | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] will know that Nattathida was grabbed by men at her home and spirited away. Her family believed these men to be from the military. The Dictator’s spokesman said this […]

19 03 2015
Beggars belief | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] will know that Nattathida was grabbed by men at her home and spirited away. Her family believed these men to be from the military. The Dictator’s spokesman said this […]

22 03 2015
Lies and lies | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Readers will recall that the military recently abducted Nattathida Meewangpla, who was a witness to murders by soldiers at a Bangkok temple during the 2010 crackdown on red shirt protesters. The junta’s spokesman denied that the military could possibly have been involved. Within just a few hours, the military handed her over to police. One lie demonstrated. […]

22 03 2015
Lies and lies | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Readers will recall that the military recently abducted Nattathida Meewangpla, who was a witness to murders by soldiers at a Bangkok temple during the 2010 crackdown on red shirt protesters. The junta’s spokesman denied that the military could possibly have been involved. Within just a few hours, the military handed her over to police. One lie demonstrated. […]

15 08 2019
Red shirts engaged in political struggle | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] – got off (but have been ruthlessly punished by voters) and their eager military accomplices murdered with impunity, led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha and General Anupong […]