PM’s Office appeals case in south
On 10 April, the Prime Minister’s Office appealed a verdict of the Administrative Court which ordered it to pay compensation to Rayu Dokho for the abuse he suffered at the hands of security officers when he was arrested as a suspect in southern unrest in 2008.
Songkhla Administrative Court ruled on 14 March this year that the PM’s Office, the 4th defendant in the case, was found guilty as the ultimate commanding agency of Internal Security Operations Command Region 4, and had to pay Rayu 256,621.56 baht in compensation. The court dismissed charges against three other defendants: the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Thai Army and the Royal Thai Police.
Rayu was arrested during a raid in Narathiwat by a combined force of military and police personnel, and was brought to appear at a press conference as an insurgent causing unrest in the south and deaths of other people.
A local Muslim religious teacher Imam Yapha Kaseng was also arrested during the same raid, and later died during detention.
On 17 April, lawyers from the Cross Cultural Foundation, on behalf of Rayu, also appealed against the Administrative Court’s decision to acquit the Ministry of Defence, the Army and the Police of the charges.
They insisted that the three agencies had to share responsibility with ISOC, and should, therefore, jointly pay compensation, in order to prevent any further abuses by officers under their command.
The lawyers also viewed that the amount of compensation ordered by the court was too little.
According to the verdict by Songkhla Administrative Court, the authorities took the suspect to a press conference without his consent, which was against the law. Military personnel committed physical abuse against the complainant according to reports by the Ingkhayutthaborihan Military Camp Hospital, medical experts from the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and a fact-finding committee appointed by the military itself.
The court ordered the PM’s Office to pay compensation to the complainant within 60 days.
In the case of Imam Yapha Kaseng, the Army has agreed, in a civil court settlement, to pay 5,211,000 baht to his family as compensation for his death.