Pubdate: Sun, 19 Dec 2010
Source: Nation, The (Thailand)
Copyright: 2010 Nation Multimedia Group


Video Spurs Questions Over Why Man Was Shot Repeatedly

Human rights advocates called yesterday for a probe into the police's
extrajudicial killing of the drug-dealer and highway-shooting suspect
Charnchai "Joke Phaikhiew" Prasongsil on December 11.

The posting of a video of the shooting on YouTube has spurred
questions about why police shot the suspect twice when the situation
appeared already in control.

The Human Rights Lawyers Association, the Union of Civil Liberties
(UCL), the Thai Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights
Defenders, the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) and the Human Rights
and Development Foundation yesterday issued a statement about the incident.

The network also offered their condolences to the family of
12-year-old victim Bhokin "Thomy" Dephiu. The groups called for
related agencies to assist the family and for an inquiry so that all
culprits were punished.

They raised questions about the police "over-reaction, inhumane acts
and law violation", citing a news report that Joke sustained four
gunshots in the head and no other wounds on his body.

The activists asked why police shot Joke three more times when, as
seen in the clip, he wouldn't be able to fight back. They urged that
an autopsy be done and a probe opened into this "extrajudicial killing".

They cited Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's comment in Krungthep
Turakij newspaper in March 2009 that violence, which appeared
effective in the short term, would complicate issues in the long term.
He said at that time that drug suppression must be done within the law
and a human rights framework. The activists urged that charges be
filed against the officer in this shooting.

They also urged society and the media to watch the work of the police
and get rid of a bias that criminals' had no rights to protect and
deserved violence.

Meanwhile, police began a probe into who publicised the video clip of
police trying to arrest, then shooting Joke. So far police had
identified the camera person as a civilian and said that the people
heard shouting in the clip for police to shoot Joke again after he was
down was not a policeman.

Meanwhile, a close aide of Joke, Apichat "Mhong" Wangprathum, 35,
surrendered to Ayutthaya police yesterday and reportedly confessed to
be involved in at least two highway shootings.

Police had been hunting for Mhong, who often drove an Isuzu pickup
truck and other vehicles for Joke. Police had found the pickup
earlier. It was said that Mhong knew a lot of Joke's secrets and could
help locate other members of the drug gang. He was charged with
attempted murders, carrying guns in public places without permission
and shooting guns in public place without permission.

Mhong, who was detained for police interrogation, allegedly confessed
to being involved in two highway shootings in September. He allegedly
said they occurred because other vehicles had cut in front of Joke's
car. Police plan to take him to court tomorrow to seek permission to
detain him.

On September 24, Thanakan Sinkhom, 22, filed a complaint with police
that he was driving on Phaholyothin Road in Ayutthaya when assailants
on an Isuzu truck approached and opened fire. He was lucky not to be
injured. The other incident took place on September 25, when a taxi
carrying six passengers and driving along the Bang Pa-in elevated road
was shot at by three or four gunmen in an Isuzu truck. A bullet
injured one passenger in the wrist. Witnesses to the two cases
identified Mhong as the driver of the Isuzu.

Ayutthaya police are continuing to hunt for other members of Joke's
drug-dealing network and are considering getting arrest warrants for
two or three people also allegedly involved in the Ayutthaya highway

Abhisit assigned Justice Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga to preside
over Thomy's cremation yesterday at Wat Nong Muang in Lop Buri's Nong
Muang district.  
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake