Prachatai reports that on 22 September 2016, Naritsarawan Keawnopparat was indicted under the Computer Crimes Act “for disseminating information deemed defamatory to the Royal Thai Army…”.
Her alleged crime is making information available on her uncle, Wichian Puaksom, then aged 26, who was a conscript “tortured to death by other soldiers in 2011.”
Naritsarawan “is accused of defaming the Thai military and violating the Computer Crime Act by posting information in February 2016 about the torture of her late uncle.
While Wichian’s family sued “the Ministry of Defense, the Royal Thai Army and the Prime Minister’s Office for malfeasance,” and received “7 million baht in compensation for their loss,” none of the 10 soldiers involved has been prosecuted.
As previous PPT posts and media reports have made clear, the torture of recruits to ensure their blind obedience and acceptance of social and military hierarchy is essentially normalized in the Army.
The Army has acknowledged this and defended it. Naritsarawan’s “crime” is in challenging this murderous and hierarchical organization.
The details of Wichian’s torture are horrific:
An investigation by the 4th Army Region found that Wichian was severely tortured by other soldiers and his superiors after he was accused of running away from military training. The Army report said that on 1 June 2011, a number of soldiers, on the orders of Sub Lt Om Malaihom, stripped Wichian down to his underwear and dragged him over a rough cement surface before repeatedly kicking him with military boots and beating him for several hours.
The report added that the soldiers applied salt to the wounds of the torture victim to increase the pain and wrapped his entire body in a white sheet, tying his hands together as for a corpse and reading the funeral rites, before engaging in another round of beating.
Rather than abide by the law and reform, the corrupt Army chooses to protect criminals and maintain its traditional feudal practices and attack a whistle blower.