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Prayut defends military ‘punishment’

BANGKOK: Excessive military punishment has come under heavy criticism in the wake of the mysterious death of a cadet while Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended military cadet training standards.

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By Bangkok Post

Friday 24 November 2017, 08:55AM


This is the last known photo of Cadet Pakapong Tanyakan, taken by a friend at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School at Nakhon Nayok. A major scandal is brewing over discipline, corporal punishment and deaths of young troops at military schools and bases. Photo: via Post Today

This is the last known photo of Cadet Pakapong Tanyakan, taken by a friend at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School at Nakhon Nayok. A major scandal is brewing over discipline, corporal punishment and deaths of young troops at military schools and bases. Photo: via Post Today

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also says that harsh disciplining of cadets could constitute an act of torture if the draft anti-torture law comes into effect.

Speaking to reporters yesterday (Nov 24), Gen Prayut said Supreme Commander Thanchaiyan Srisuwan would meet for talks the family of Pakapong “Moei” Tanyakan whose cadaver was later found to be missing organs including his brain.

Asked about public concern over military discipline for cadet training, he said the public should not be worried. “Don’t worry. Nobody wants any losses or injuries,” he said.

The prime minister also said he was disciplined when he studied at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.

“What’s wrong with it? I went through it all.”

Maintaining discipline to train and hold military personnel to high standards of both conduct and performance is common at other foreign military institutes, Gen Prayut added.

Angkhana Neelapaijit, a National Human Rights Commission member, said disciplining military personnel and cadets could be deemed as an act of torture if the draft anti-torture and anti-disappearance law is introduced.

Once the legislation is enacted, it will criminalise all forms of physical and mental torture, Ms Angkhana said, adding that a system of excessive military discipline would violate the law.

“If the government wants to make human rights a national priority, it should revamp this military disciplinary system,” she said.

Lt Gen Nathaphol Boon-ngam, spokesman for the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters said yesterday that Gen Thanchaiyan had appointed ACM Chawarat Marungruang, deputy head of the joint chiefs of staff, to head an inquiry panel to look into the cause of the death of Mr Pakapong.

The panel will examine in detail medical information relating to the cause of the cadet’s death, and investigate allegations that Mr Pakapong was excessively punished.

The military academy has strict regulations on disciplining cadets and anyone who violates the rules will be punished, Lt Gen Nathaphol said.

Mr Pakapong’s family collected his internal organs yestetday from army-owned Phramongkutklao Hospital and took them to the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) under the Justice Ministry for a further autopsy to determine the cause of his death.

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The family secretly removed Mr Pakapong’s body during his funeral rites as they did not believe he died of cardiac arrest as claimed by Phramongkutklao Hospital, which conducted the initial autopsy after his death.

The family brought Mr Pakapong’s body for a second autopsy and found that his heart, brain, liver, lung and intestines were missing.

The hospital said later it removed the internal organs for further autopsy and returned them to the family yesterday to take to the CIFS which has stepped into conduct the fresh autopsy.

Som Promros, the CIFS director, said pathologists at the CIFS will check DNA from the organs to see if they match the body of the dead cadet.

Mr Som said the CIFS has contacted doctors from three hospitals – Siriraj Hospital, Chulalongkorn Hospital and Ramathibodi Hospital – to work with the CIFS to determine the cause of death.

Mr Som said the autopsy will be completed in seven days.

According to Mr Som, the family’s letter requesting the autopsy was sent to the CIFS on Oct 25 and it started on Nov 1.

Dr Panjai Woharndee, a CIFS official, said on Wednesday (Nov 22) that removing organs for a detailed examination without asking the family’s permission is neither illegal nor unethical.

She said there are no standard rules on the matter, while noting that DNA testing can prove if the returned organs belonged to the cadet.

According to the family, the death certificate indicates their son died of acute heart failure but provided no details.

Their suspicions intensified after the CIFS team found some organs under the chest and abdomen and the brain had been removed.

On Tuesday (Nov 21), the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School said the organs were taken out to conclusively determine the cause of the cadet’s death.

Read original story here.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 25 November 2017 - 08:03:53

Spaces are not characters!!!!!!!!!!!

Jor12 | 24 November 2017 - 19:44:05

I wish that idiots properly read an article, thus comments would be respectful, reasoned, mature and with a modicom of intelligence. 

Mika | 24 November 2017 - 15:19:27

Not so much wrong about the comment below,but why is the "special one" allowed to use more than 400 characters and other people are not?????????? Maybe a bonus for commenting every article?

Kurt | 24 November 2017 - 09:26:29

..."Maintaining discipline to train and hold military personnel to both standards of conduct and performance is common at other foreign military institutions"...

That is right,.. indeed, at other foreign military institutions.

Sickening to read that not the complete body of the 1st year army cadet after autopsy was handed over to family.
More sickening that the army not informed t...

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