UPDATE (Thailand): Repeated torture at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Police Station 


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-04-2005
ISSUES: Torture,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Pol. Lt-Col. Suebsak, who was involved in two other brutal torture cases that the AHRC had reported on (Reference: UA-153-2004UA-170-2004), was also among the seven police officers responsible for the torture and forced confession of four Thai men in September 2004 (See further: UP-71-2004).  All four victims are currently detained in the Sri Ayutthaya Provincial Prison. In this appeal, we include the current situation of the victims, more detailed information about the case based on the victims’ testimony, and updated names and addresses of the four victims.

The AHRC is gravely concerned that even in the three reported cases mentioned above, which took place at the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Police Station, no police officers, including Pol.-Col. Suebsak, have been prosecuted and no proper investigation has been conducted by the Thai authorities in regards to these cases.  This clearly demonstrates that how torture has become deeply rooted and has become routine practice in police stations in Thailand. It also further demonstrates how torture perpetrators enjoy impunity due to the Thai authorities reluctance to pursue torture cases committed by the police.

The AHRC calls for your urgent intervention in this case. Please send a letter to the Minister of Justice calling on him to have the Department of Special Investigation conduct an independent investigation into this case, since there has been no serious action taken by the police against the perpetrators. Please also urge the Government of Thailand to ratify the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), and introduce it into domestic law without delay.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)


1. Anek Yingnuek, 24, a permanent resident of 76/1 Moo 4, Tambon Soithong, Taklee district, Nakhon Sawan province
2. Sukit Rachamontri, 23, a permanent resident of 14/1 Moo 1, Tambon Thungthong, Nongbua district, Nakhon Sawan province
3. Kampon Kongwiset, 19, a permanent resident of 320 Moo 1, Tamboon Banphue, Banphue district, Udon Thani province
4. Pirom Kruesorn, 21, a permanent resident of 30/2 Moo 3, Tamboon Hantapao, Wangnoi distirct, Pra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya province

Alleged Perpetrators
1.  Pol. Lt-Col. Suebsak Pinsang, who served at the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Police Station at the time of the incident, was temporarily removed from duty after investigations were conducted into the horrendous torture of Ekkawat Srimanta (Ref.: UA-153-2004UP-75-2004).
2. Six police officers attached to the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Police Station
Date of incident: 9-11 September 2004
Case status: The four victims were charged with gang robbery and the case is pending in the Pra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya Provincial Court (Black No. 1621/2547, 1675/2547 and 38/2548); No investigation was launched regarding their torture  

Further details of the case: (According to the testimony of the victims and witnesses)

Anek Yingnuek was arrested by officers from the Pra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya Police Station on 9 September 2004 on the charge of robbery.

At the police station, the police officers inhumanely tortured Anek for several hours while forcing him to confess. They brutally beat him with PVC pipe and attempted to suffocate him with plastic bags. They also electrocuted him, including his penis and testicles. Due to the unbearable torture inflicted on him, Anek revealed the name of his three friends, Sukit Rachamontri, Kampon Kongwiset, and Pirom Kruesorn, as accomplices, who were immediately arrested by the police on the afternoon of September 10.

The three arrested were also severely tortured by police officers. Sukit’s girlfriend, who became a key eyewitness to the torture, accompanied her boyfriend to the police station. There she saw that the police threw a bottle at Sukit’s face before proceeding to beat, kick and slap the three men. During the investigation, the police also tortured the three whenever they considered the answers unsatisfactory. Sukit’s girlfriend was ordered to leave the room, however, she could still heard loud screams coming inside from the room for some time. When the three men came out, she noticed that they were trembling and that their bodies were wet. It is alleged that they were constantly tortured until 1:00am on September 11.

After the inquiry, the four men, including Anek, were charged with robbery and possession of illegal weapon. Anek admitted that he and his three friends had stolen a mobile phone and a purse of a woman. However, he said that he would have confessed his crime without being tortured when he was brought to the police station but that the police did not give him any chance to do so and tortured him instead.

It was also came to our attention that Pol. Lt-Col. Suebsak, who was involved in two other torture cases the AHRC had reported on (UA-153-2004UA-170-2004), was among the seven police officers responsible for this case. Anek testified that Pol. Lt-Col.Suebsak was the worst torturer among the officers. The Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Police Station is notorious for routine extreme torture against persons in detention. Especially, Pol. Lt-Col. Suebsak is known as a serial torturer who has led the abuse committed against persons in detention. However, despite being temporarily removed from duty regarding the torture of Ekkawat Srimanta, Pol. Lt-Col. Suebsak was later released without charge.

Anek and the other three were later remanded to Pra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya Provincial Prison where they are currently detained. The case against them was sent to the Pra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya Provincial Court (Black No. 1621/2547, 1675/2547 and 38/2548) and the first hearing of the case is set for 2 May 2005.  Meanwhile, the Law Society of Thailand decided to provide a defence lawyer to the four men after Anek’s relative’s appeal for legal assistance.

Concerning aspects of this case:

1. Grave obstacle to prove police torture: Under the current police inquiry system, it is very difficult for victims to prove that they were tortured by the police while in police custody. In many torture cases, the police have knowledge on how to hide the evidence. For instance, in this case, Anek said that when he was electrocuted, the police used ice to avoid causing any scarring. The police also usually prolong detention of the detainees so that have enough time for the injuries of the tortured persons to disappear, as was seen in this case. The police often do not provide any medical attention to the tortured persons, concerned that a medical report will be used as evidence against them in court. In this case, Anek and the others have not been provided any medical treatment for their injuries. Currently only several scars on their bodies prove that they were subjected to brutal torture by the police.

In the case of Metta Sipan (UA-170-2004), the Pra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya Provincial Court passed judgment that the accused police officers were not guilty due to a lack of (medical) evidence, while convicting Meta with robbery. This is despite his defence lawyer insisting that Metta’s confession was extracted under torture and therefore it could not be used as an evidence in court under Section 226 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The AHRC is afraid that the court might pass the same decision in this current case of the four ment, by choosing to ignore the inflicted upon them.

2. Forced confession illegally used as court evidence in violation of Thai Criminal Procedure Code: In Section 31 of the Thai Constitution, it clearly states that “A torture, brutal act, or punishment by a cruel or inhumane means shall not be permitted…”  Section 226 of the Thai Criminal Procedure Code further indicates that “the court cannot accept” any material, documentary or oral evidence which is obtained through any inducement, promise, threat, deception or other unlawful means.

However, these laws only exist on paper in Thailand; they have no practical implication. The normal procedure of investigation in the police stations in Thailand is nothing new, as has been seen in this case. When a person is brought to the police station, he/she is first beaten without any questions being asked. Types of torture are also brutal including suffocation with a plastic bag, stripping detainees naked, and electrocution. The torture perpetrators (normally police officers) are protected by systemic impunity.


The police very often torture detainees to obtain a confession without going through other proper investigation processes. Although torture is prohibited by the Thai Constitution, it is very difficult to break such a brutal and long practice. For instance, a prominent human rights lawyer, Mr. Somchai Neelapaijit, went missing while defending five men who were inhumanly tortured by the police officers. (See: UA-94-2004FA-06-2004UP-14-2004UP-26-2004UP-58-2004, and UP-61-2004)

Increasing cases of custodial torture in Thailand has, however, begun to raise growing concerns regarding investigation procedures carried only by the police. In a positive step, the Minister of Justice has called for changes to the procedure of investigation that is usually carried out by the police, calling for such investigation to be conducted, in special cases, by the police and public prosecutor together. However, there are many police stations where the practice of torture has evidently been deeply institutionalised. Thus, much greater efforts is required if the issue of torture is to be properly addressed.

At the very least, this means ratifying the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) and bringing it into domestic law, along with an agency to oversee its implementation by way of investigating and prosecuting police and other security personnel who are alleged and then found guilty of torturing detainees.

Please send a letter, fax or an email to the Minister of Justice urging him to order an independent investigation of these allegations, in conjunction with those currently under way by the Department of Special Investigation (see UP-78-2004), and to ensure protection and compensation for the victims. Please also urge him to see that the Government of Thailand ratifies the UN Convention against Torture.

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Dear Mr. Pongthep,

Re: Repeated torture at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Police Station; Torture and forced confession of four men (Black No. 1621/2547, 1675/2547 and 38/2548 at the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Provincial Court) 
I am deeply concerned by information I have received regarding another case of torture committed by officers of the Royal Thai Police at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Police Station.  

According to the information I have received, Anake Yingnuek (24), Kampon Kongviset (19), Sukit Rachamontri (23) and Pirom Kruesorn (21) were arrested and charged with robbery by the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya police on 9-10 September 2004. While in police custody, the four men were allegedly tortured and threatened into confessing. The types of torture used included suffocation with plastic bags, beatings with PVC pipe, slapping and applying electric shocks to the testicles and penis and other sensitive body parts. The four men, are currently detained in the Pra Nakorn Sri Ayutthaya Provincial Prison and the case against them was sent to the Pra Nakorn Sri Ayutthaya Provincial court (Black No. 1621/2547, 1675/2547 and 38/2548). The first hearing of the case is set for 2 May 2005. 

In the Metta Sipan's case, the Pra Nakorn Sri Ayutthaya Provincial Court passed judgment that the accused police officers were not guilty due to a lack of (medical) evidence while convicting Meta with robbery. This is despite his defence lawyer insisting that Metta's confession was extracted through torture which cannot be used as evidence in court under Section 226 of the Criminal Procedure Code. I am concerned that the court may give the same decision in the case of the four men by ignoring the torture which took place on the four victims. 

I urge you to ensure that an independent investigation be undertaken into these allegations, in accordance with Thailand's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This could be done in conjunction with the investigations on the accused police officers that you have already ordered to be carried out under the Department of Special Investigation and in cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General. Finally, I urge the government of Thailand to ratify the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) and introduce it into the domestic law without delay. 
Yours sincerely,



Mr Pongthep Thepkanjana 
Minister of Justice 
Office of the Ministry of Justice 
Ministry of Justice Building 
22nd Floor 
Chaeng Wattana Road 
Pakkred, Nonthaburi 
Bangkok 11120 
Tel: +66 2 502 6776/ 8223
Fax: +662 502 6699/ 6734/ 6884


1. Dr Thaksin Shinawatra
Prime Minister
Government House,
Pissanulok Road, Dusit District,
Bangkok 10300
Tel: +662 280 1404/ 3000
Fax: +662 282 8631/ 280 1589/ 629 8213
Email: thaksin@thaigov.go.thgovspkman@mozart.inet.co.th

2. Dr Bhokin Bhalakula
Minister of Interior
Office of the Ministry of Interior
Thanon Atsadang
Bangkok 10200
Tel: +662 224-6320/ 6341
Fax: +662 226-4371/ 222 8866
Email: webteam@moi.go.th

3. Pol. Gen. Kowit Wattana
Royal Thai Police
1st Bldg, 7th Floor
Rama I , Patumwan,
Bangkok 10330
Tel. +662 205-1313/ 205-220/ 205-1840-9
Fax: +662 251-5956/ 205 3738/ 255 1975-8

4. Professor Saneh Chamarik
National Human Rights Commission of Thailand
422 Phya Thai Road
Pathurn Wan District
Bangkok 10300
Fax: +66 2 219 2940
Email: commission@nhrc.or.th

5. Prof. Manfred Nowak 
Special Rapporteur on the question of torture 
Attn: Mr. Safir Syed 
1211 Geneva 10 
Tel: +41 22 917 9230 
Fax: +41 22 917 9016 (general) 

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-04-2005
Countries : Thailand,
Issues : Torture,