“Investigating” themselves

8 04 2015

Suwanna Suwanchuta, appointed by the military junta as director of the Division of Special Investigation (DSI) has announced that the military will now have representatives who “will assist with an investigation into the deaths that resulted from a military crackdown on Redshirt protesters in 2010…”.

It has long been the case that the military refuses to be investigated by civilian officials. In the case of the shooting of civilians in 2010, while there has been an on-again/off-again relationship with investigators and the courts, there has been an outspoken defiance, led by the now self-appointed premier, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who has denied that the military killed anyone. This despite evidence of the use of snipers and inquests determining that soldiers shot civilians. However, no soldier or commander has been held responsible or been named.snipers

Bothe Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, who as Democrat Party PM and Deputy PM should have issued orders to the military during the crackdown, are still being investigated.

DSI has now, presumably under pressure, appointed seven retired officers from the military court to “serve” as “coordinators” linking DSI and the army inquest procedures. According to Suwanna, “The DSI wants these investigators to coordinate with the military when it comes to interrogating soldiers because we have received complaints that soldiers had not been treated fairly…”. That seems rich when no soldier has been held responsible for any of these murders. We imagine people like Prayuth have made such outrageous claims and demands.

So far there have been 27 inquests and “judges have ruled that military gunfire was responsible for the deaths of 18 victims. The other nine cases were deemed inconclusive because of insufficient evidence.”

Jatuporn Promphan, chairman of the barely active United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) has observed that the “cases have seen very slow progress,” and is correct to cast doubt on the role of the military in the investigations. He is right to say, “I am afraid that it won’t be transparent and fair.”


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11 04 2015
His lies | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the courts have not found them responsible in the inquests conducted to date. More significantly, the courts disagree with Prayuth. There have been 27 inquests where judges have ruled that military gunfire was responsible for the […]

11 04 2015
His lies | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] the courts have not found them responsible in the inquests conducted to date. More significantly, the courts disagree with Prayuth. There have been 27 inquests where judges have ruled that military gunfire was responsible for the […]