Another soldier dies from beating in military camp

Not even a month after news of an army draftee beaten to death by other soldiers caused public outrage, a doctor has concluded that another soldier in northeastern Thailand has been beaten to death in a military camp.

The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), a human rights advocacy group, reported that at 9 am on Monday, 25 April 2016, the Provincial Court of the northeastern province of Surin held a pre-indictment witness hearing into the death of Corporal Krittikon Suthiraphan, 25, a soldier at Weerawat Yothin Army Camp in Surin.

Krittikon died in a military prison in Weerawat Yothin Army Camp on 21 February 2016. He was imprisoned after he was accused of assisting other detainees in the military prison to flee.

After his death, Boonrueang Suthiraphan, Krittikon’s mother, with a lawyer from CrCF, requested the court to hold a pre-indictment witness hearing on the case in accordance with Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Code as the late corporal died from unnatural causes.

At the hearing, Naruephon Kittikunakon, a doctor from Surin Provincial Hospital who performed the forensic examination of the body, said that Krittikon was found dead in the military prison with his feet chained.

The examination showed that the body had been beaten by hard objects and the soldier died from serious head injuries and a ruptured stomach, added the doctor.

The mother of the late soldier said at the hearing that she attempted to bail her late son while he was detained in the military prison, but the bail request was denied.

She testified that she tried to visit Krittikon many times, but the authorities denied her requests and prevented her from making any contact with the soldier, citing military prison rules.

Pol Lt Col Ratchapon Kliang-uttha, the investigator of the case, told the court that military sources indicate that four detainees of the military prison in Weerawat Yothin Army Camp are prime suspects in the beating.

According to the public prosecutor, two witnesses who are currently detained at the military prison will be summoned to testify.

Surin Provincial Court has scheduled the next pre-indictment hearing on the case at 9 am on 23 May 2016.