Thai Security Forces Accused of Beating Suspected Muslim Insurgent to Death

July 28, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: International Herald Tribune

Wire Service: AP

BANGKOK, Thailand: Security forces beat to death a Muslim man suspected in the execution-style slaughter of eight Buddhists in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, a human rights group claimed Saturday.

The prime minister, meanwhile, said no human rights abuses have been committed in southern Thailand.

On July 21, police and military officers raided a hut in Yala's Krong Pinang district to arrest five suspected members of a Muslim rebel commando unit believed to have carried out the execution-style shooting of eight Buddhists in a nearby district in March, according to the military and a human rights group.

Pornpen Khongkachonkiet of the rights organization Working Group on Justice for Peace told The Associated Press that the officers severely beat Ashari Sama-ae, one of the suspects around his head and body while in custody.

The 25-year-old employee of a motorcycle shop later died at a public hospital in Yala, Pornpen said.

A National Human Rights Commission official, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the press, said the commission visited three of the four other suspects at a military base in Pattani where they were being detained on Thursday and that they all said they had been beaten.

The military said the suspects had violently resisted arrest.