Compensation but no prosecution over death of Deep South torture victim

The court in the restive southern Thailand ordered a security unit to provide compensation for the family of the Deep South violence victim who was tortured to death, but none of the security officers and public agencies were prosecuted.

On Friday morning, 21 August 2015, the Administrative Court of the southern province of Songkhla ordered the security agency in the restive Deep South responsible for torturing Ashari Samaae to death to compensate the victim’s family with 534, 301.36 baht fund and 479,500 baht of accumulative interest.

The payment is the be delivered within 60 days after the ruling. However, the judges dismissed the accusations on the case against the Defence Ministry, the Royal Thai Army, and the Royal Thai Police and none of the security officers are to be prosecuted.

On 21 July 2007 morning, military officers from 11th and 13th Special Task Force and police from Patae Police Station invoked authorities given by the martial law and arrested Ashari and several other friends from a rubber plantation in Krong Pi Ngang District of the Deep Southern province of Yala.

In the evening of the same day, the officers sent him to a military hospital for he was severely injured before transferring him to Yala Regional Hospital. He died in the morning of the next day, 22 July 2007.

According the autopsy report of Yala Regional Hospital, Ashari’s head was swollen and there were many other serious physical injuries on his body.

Later, other people who were detained with Ashari filed a complaint to the National Human Right Commission (NHRC), claiming that they were tortured under custody by the authorities.

Baedo Samaae, the mother of the late torture victim, filed charges against the security officers and security agencies responsible for the Ashari’s death to the Civil Court, but the case was later transferred to the administrative court.

On 30 January 2012, the Sonkhla’s administrative court ordered the Prime Minister's Office as it is a state agency directing the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), a state security unit in the Deep South, to give 534,301 baht of compensation to Ashari’s family and dismissed the officers’ claim that they could not be held responsible for the actions because it was done under the martial law.

The administrative courts in the restive Deep South have ordered the security agencies in the region to compensate the loss of lives of many victims of the southern conflict who died in the hands of the authorities, but prosecution against an individual security officer responsible for the deaths is extremely rare.


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