THAILAND: Two young persons awarded 100,000 baht each for compensation as a result of being physically abused while being searched by security officer
For immediate release on 16 August 2012
On 9 August 2012, the Songkhla Administrative Court ordered the Office of Prime Minister as the agency in charge of Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Region 4 to provide compensation to Mr. Mazaofi Kwangbu, 20 years and Adil Samae, 14 years. The two young persons have filed charges stemming from physical abuse by security officers during a search and patrol operation. Invoking Martial Law, the search operation was conducted on 11 May 2009 around the bank of Pattani River, Tambon Sateng, Muang District, Yala Province.
The Court ruled that though military officers are authorized by Martial Law to conduct searches of persons and vehicles at night, but during this operation, the two young persons were subjected to physical abuse and sustained injuries. Such an act was therefore considered unlawful and tortuous. And since the military officer belonged to ISOC Region 4 which falls under the charge of the Office of Prime Minister, the Office is therefore held liable to provide compensation for the damage claim. Mr. Mazaofi Kwangbu shall be compensated for the lack of labour force in his family and a lack of benefits from work and the compensation shall be based on the minimum wage applicable in Yala for 250 baht/day, and since he was told by doctor to stop working for five days, he shall be entitled to receiving 1,200 baht as compensation. Meanwhile, Adil Samae, a boy, was studying, so there shall be no damage claim on this end. However, in light of compensation for a breach of the right and freedom of body, health and mental quality, since the military’s act has infringed on the right and freedom to body and mentality of the two persons, and since Section 32 of Thailand’s Constitution provides for rights and liberties of people, the Court decided to award each of the plaintiff 100,000 baht as compensation to damage claim as per Paragraph 5 of the section
The case took place on 11 May 2009. The military officers back then physically abused both Mr. Mazaofi Kwangbu and Adil Samae by hitting their heads with gun handles and smacked them in the stem of their ears and occipital bones causing injuries to them. Later, the public prosecutor of the Army Military Court of Pattani criminally prosecuted the officer for physically abusing other persons and causing them to sustain injuries. On 26 April 2010, the accused confessed to the charges and was convicted by the Army Court to six month imprisonment and a fine of 2,000, but since he had never been found guilty before and since he had been behaving well, the imprisonment was suspended for two years, but he was still obliged to pay the fine. The case has reached its final verdict and it has given rise to the tort claim damage.
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550 (2007)
Section32. A person shall enjoy the right and liberty in his or her life and person.
A torture, brutal act, or punishment by cruel or inhumane means shall not be permitted; provided, however, that punishment by death penalty as provided by law shall not be deemed the punishment by cruel or inhumane means under this paragraph.
The arrest and detention shall not be made without Court order, Court writ or other causes as prescribed by law.
The search of person or act affecting the rights and liberty under paragraph one shall not be made except by the necessities as prescribed by law.
In the case of the act affecting the right and liberty under paragraph one, an affected person, a public prosecutor, or another person acting on behalf of the affected person has the right to seek court action to stop or withdrawal such an action including to determine proper measure or remedy for the accrued damage.
For more information, please contact;
Ms. Pawinee Chumsri, Attorney, CrCf , 083-189 6598