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A soldier in Thailand’s Deep South has died a few days after he was reportedly tortured at a military base for committing disciplinary offences.   

The Manager Online reported on Monday, 4 April 2016, that 23-year-old Private Songtham Mutmat from Phayak Military Camp in Bannang Sata District of the restive Deep Southern Province of Yala, died at the provincial hospital.  

The Manager earlier reported on Saturday that Songtham was beaten in the camp after he allegedly committed disciplinary offences.

The mother of the deceased reported to the Manager that he was severely beaten to the point that he became unconscious and had to be assisted by a respirator while he was at the hospital, adding that he had bruises all over his body and suffered a brain haemorrhage.

On Sunday, the mother of the deceased went to Inkayuth Military Base in Pattani to listen to the interrogation of army officers allegedly involved in the torture of Songtham. However, there has been no official statement from the commander of Phayak Military Camp.

On 24 March, Matichon Online reported that Phairot Ratanathon, 46, from the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat told the media that his son, Kiatisak Ratanathon, 21, a conscript at Vajiravudh Military Base in the province was beaten by two senior soldiers.

Phairot told the media that his son suffered a broken jaw from the beating and will have to undergo an operation.

Allegations of torture of draftees in Thai military bases are not new.

According to the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), a human rights advocacy group, in early January 2014 Somchai Si-ueangdoi, a draftee at Kawila Military Camp in Chiang Mai, was allegedly tortured by three senior officers and died shortly after.

The three officers allegedly put a metal can over his head with and hit him on the head and body about 20 times. The mother of the deceased later sued the Royal Thai Army over the death of her son. The case is still in the courts.

In another gruesome case in June 2011, Wichian Puaksom, 26, a conscript in the Deep South province of Narathiwat, died after alleged brutal torture by about 10 soldiers.

An investigation by the 4th Army Region found that Wichian was severely tortured by other soldiers and his superiors after he was accused of running away from military training.

The Army report said that a number of soldiers at the request of Sub Lt Om Malaihom on 1 June 2011 stripped Wichian down to his underwear and dragged him over a rough cement surface before repeatedly kicking him with military boots and beating him for several hours.

The report added that the soldiers applied salt to the wounds of the torture victim to increase the pain and wrapped his entire body with a white sheet, tying his hands together as for a corpse and reading the funeral rites, before engaging in another round of beating.

After suing the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Thai Army and the Prime Minister's Office for malfeasance, Wichian’s family was given 7 million baht in compensation for their loss. However, up to now, none of the accused soldiers have been officially prosecuted for criminal offences.

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