Parents sue Royal Thai Police after child dies in custody

Parents of a suspect who died while in custody have filed a lawsuit against the Royal Thai Police, alleging that their son was tortured to death.

On 8 November 2016, the parents of Anand Kerdkaew, a suspect arrested in November 2015 for allegedly possessing amphetamine, filed a civil lawsuit against the Royal Thai Police to Bangkok’s Southern Criminal Court, the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) has reported.  
 
Anand died on 13 November 2015 at Maharat hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima province.
 
After his arrest, he was taken to the province’s Narcotic Suppression Centre for interrogation by the police. The family of the suspect was informed only on 11 November that Anand had been taken to the hospital. When they arrived, they found Anand severely injured and he could not speak.
 
According to the autopsy report of Anand’s body, his brain had been severely injured from impact with hard objects to the point of suffering from internal bleeding. He also sustained severe physical injuries to his torso, legs, and arms.   
 
Anand’s parents believe their son was tortured to death during the police interrogation.
 
With assistance from the CrCF, Wassana Kerdkaew, Anand’s mother, filed the case to Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Court to investigate the death of Anand. The trail is ongoing.
 
According to the CrCF, as Thailand has already ratified the the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT), the Thai state is obligated to bring justice to Anand’s family.
 
“The arrest and detention of a suspect must be done proportionally and with respect to human dignity. It is prohibited by the CAT and other laws to inflict physical abuse in order to force a suspect to confess,” the CrCF stated.  
 
Over the past decade, many suspects have been tortured in the hands of state authorities, especially in the restive Deep South where armed insurgency continues. When torture victims or their families file complaints against officers however, state agencies tend to only provide monetary compensation. It remains extremely rare for security officers to be prosecuted with criminal offences.