No need for psychotherapy, Chiang Rai student told by local juvenile authority

The mother of the high school student has been told by the Provincial Juvenile Centre not to send her son for psychotherapy scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday, as her son has been found to be normal.  The Director of the Centre insists that the agency has followed procedures without discrimination. The Centre’s findings from its examination of the student will be sent to police to be forwarded to the prosecution.

The high school student, 16, was sent by police to be examined at the Chiang Rai Juvenile Observation and Protection Centre, and subsequently was scheduled to receive psychotherapy at the centre on 16-17 Aug.  He had joined four college students in staging a protest against the Emergency Decree in the town on 16 July.

On 10 Aug, his mother received a call from an official at the Centre telling her that she was no longer required to bring her son for psychotherapy as scheduled, because her son was found to be mentally normal after examination by the Centre.

The mother said that she felt better after her son and other students met the National Human Rights Commission on 9 Aug.  They were told to notify NHRC officials in the event that they were intimidated or threatened.

Before coming from Chiang Rai to see the NHRC in Bangkok, she was aware that her family was under police surveillance.  She was asked on the phone whether she had ever contacted the Phuea Thai Party for help.  She answered that she did not know anyone and was not able to do so. 

On 5 Aug, the police went to her son’s school, and the teachers called her and asked about her son.  He had gone to hospital with a pain in his legs, but had not told his teachers.

On 6 Aug, a day before activist Sombat Boon-ngam-anong from Bangkok organized an activity tying red cloth round the town’s clock tower, she received a call from the police, telling her that the police superintendent wanted to talk to her and stressing that she was required by law to give information to the police.  But she did not know what to say, because she had already given them all the information she had, and had sent her son to the Juvenile Centre as instructed by the police.  So she refused and told them that if they wanted to interrogate her further, they should send a summons.

On the following day, she and her son went to join the red-cloth tying activity.

‘[The activists] came to give moral support. And this is my son’s affair,’ she explained. 

The police were unhappy, and asked her why she took her son to a political activity.  She thought that it was the police who had made it an issue and taken things this far.

Sumalee Yanaphap, Director of the Chiang Rai Juvenile Observation and Protection Centre, said that the Centre had just followed normal procedure without discrimination.  The Centre will submit its documentation to the police to be forwarded to the prosecution who will consider whether or not to pursue the case in court.

‘The psychological check is just preliminary, and does not mean that he has done wrong, or is mentally ill.  Psychotherapy is just a programme for leading a normal life in general,’ the Director said.

In prosecutions involving minors, reports from the agency are required by the court in considering the case.  Minors will be accommodated at the Centre only when the court denies bail or orders them to receive training or to be detained.

The information contained in the Centre’s reports comes from the testimonies of the minors and their guardians, who sign reports of their testimony right after giving it.  The reports are confidential, and are submitted to investigators only.  However, minors can make objections to the reports in court, she said.

7 Aug 2010



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