Mother sues Thai Army over son’s death

The mother of a soldier in northeastern Thailand who was beaten to death in a military camp has filed a civil lawsuit against the Royal Thai Army.

At the Civil Court on Ratchadapisek Road in Bangkok on 9 March 2017, Boonrueang Suthiraphan, the mother of Corporal Krittikon Suthiraphan, 25, filed the civil lawsuit against the Royal Thai Army over the death of her son in the military prison of Weerawat Yothin Army Camp in Surin Province on 21 February 2016. He was imprisoned after being accused of assisting other detainees in the military prison to flee.

Boonrueang accused the army of violating the 1996 Act on Liability for Wrongful Acts of Officials. She is demanding compensation from the Army for Krittikon’s death.

After her son’s death, with the help from the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), a human rights advocacy group, Boonrueang requested the court to hold a pre-indictment witness hearing on the case in accordance with Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Code as her son died from unnatural causes.

At the hearing, Dr Naruephon Kittikunakon of Surin Provincial Hospital, who performed the forensic examination of Krittikon’s body, said he was found dead in the military prison with his feet chained.

The body showed signs of a beating with hard objects and death was caused by serious head injuries and a ruptured stomach, added the doctor.

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

She testified that she also 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.

According to Pol Lt Col Ratchapon Kliang-uttha, the investigator of the case, military sources indicated that four detainees in the military prison in Weerawat Yothin Army Camp are prime suspects in the case.