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THAILAND: Was army responsible for fatal shooting of Japanese cameraman?

In a surprising U-turn, Department of Special Investigation chief Tharit Pengdit told Agence France Presse on 17 September that the army was responsible for the fatal shooting of Japanese cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto during clashes between government forces and “Red Shirt” protesters in Bangkok on 10 April 2010.

The DSI previously reported on 24 March that forensic tests had established that the round that killed Muramoto, who worked for Reuters, came from a type of gun that the army had not been using that day.

The shift in position came one day after Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung relieved the DSI of responsibility for the special enquiry into the deaths of 13 civilians, including Muramoto, during the clashes in April and May 2010.

Accusing the DSI of being ineffective, Chalerm has put the Bangkok police in charge of the investigation.

Italian freelance photographer Fabio Polenghi was also killed while covering the “Red Shirt” protests on 19 May 2010. Read the Reporters Without Borders report on violence against the media in Bangkok in 2010



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