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Two years and no convictions. Erawan Shrine bombing, Bangkok.

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Only one person has been interrogated about the horrific Ratchaprasong bomb of August 2015 and it is now feared justice may not be reached for several more years.

Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of the deadly bomb attack at the famous Erawan Shrine tourist destination in Bangkok, which killed 20 people and injured 125 others.

Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) says the case has progressed very slowly due to language difficulties, the large number of witnesses and the military court system.

Two Uyghur suspects, Adem Karadag and Mieraili Yusufu, were arrested following the police investigation. Adem, also known as Bilal Mohammed, confessed to being the bomber but later retracted his confession and said he had only admitted guilt because it had been forced out of him by officers.

Both suspects were sent for trial at Bangkok Military Court but no verdict has been reached even though the trial was due to start a year ago.

Yingcheep Atchanont, iLaw coordinator, says the prosecution has failed to progress because only one witness has been interrogated in the two years since the attack.

He said this was a bad situation insofar as providing justice for both the victims and the defendants.

“From our observation of the court proceedings, we noticed that the witness interrogation during the first court was very slow because statements in court had to be translated into English and then into Uyghur,” Yingcheep said.

According to iLaw, the two defendants have already attended court 13 times over the last year and the military attorney has declared that 447 witnesses must be questioned before the court can rule. It has therefore been estimated that the case will take up to seven years to be concluded.

Yingcheep said the high number of witnesses was not the only problem – Military Court procedure was also slow and long periods of time elapsed between court dates.

From iLaw observations, he said, the court scheduled six days to interrogate the first witness. Once the long periods of waiting between court appearances were included, however, the time to interrogate the first witness was actually 59 working days, from May 11 to July 18.

Yingcheep said the slow pace of proceedings was in no one’s interest. “We also worry about the living conditions of both suspects, because the officers have not allowed outsiders to see them in their cells,” he said. “Even their lawyer has experienced difficulties visiting them. We can only hope that both suspects are treated well and their rights and dignity are respected.”

Royal Thai Army Commander in Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said security surveillance had continued to be tight in Bangkok since the attack. He would not comment on the slow court proceedings, saying only that the case was still ongoing.

Deputy police spokesman Pol Col Krisana maintained the case was progressing in line with normal court procedure and police had finished their enquiries and closed the case.

STORY: The Nation

https://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30324134

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Crime

Mother abandons 3 young children in their locked Bangkok room for 3 days

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Mother abandons 3 young children in their locked Bangkok room for 3 days | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod.co.th

3 young Bangkok children were abandoned in a small room for 3 days after the mother allegedly visited her new boyfriend. A neighbour was taking care of the youngest of the 4 children, a 4 month old baby, but the mother never contacted anyone about her other 3 kids. The mother hadn’t returned to pick up her baby from the neighbour, as promised. Police report that the 3 children had no food for the 3 days. Paveena Hongsakul from the Foundation for Children and Women called Police at the Khan Na Yao Police Station, a northeastern suburb of Bangkok.

Police received a report about the 4 children, aged 7, 6, 4 and the baby.

The 25 year old stepsister notified the foundation on Thursday informing police that her 32 year old sister, Gift, is the mother of the children. Gift’s husband is serving a sentence for drug charges and has been incarcerated for 3 years. Since then Gift had the 4th child, although the family is unsure who the father is. The sister claimed that Gift was always asking the family for financial assistance.

Last Monday Gift’s neighbour contacted the sister saying that she had been taking care of the young baby. She went to Gift’s room to see if she was there and the room was locked. She checked through a window and could see the 3 other children and noted that they were stressed and looked hungry.

When she asked the children about their mother the youngsters remained silent. She worked with the other neighbours to rescue the children through the window. Gift’s phone was left in her room. After filing a report with the local police the neighbour took the other 3 children in to care for them but told police that her room was only 33 square metres and there were 11 people living in her tiny room already.

Police and the neighbour tried to call Gift’s new boyfriend. Eventually he answered but told them that he was “far away and didn’t know when Gift could return”.

All 4 children are now safe at the foundation after a visit to the local police station as police wait to interview Gift when she returns.

SOURCE: Thai Residents | Khaosod.co.th

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Thailand

Charter vote delayed, committee formed and Senators escape Parliament by boat – VIDEO

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Charter vote delayed, committee formed and Senators escape Parliament by boat – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: Protesters gather outside the Thai parliament - Tanaporn Choopanya

Thailand’s MPs and Senators have kicked the constitutional can down the road at least a month after the parliament failed to agree on charter amendments. A panel will be sent up to examine 6 motions that were proposed and debated over the past 2 days. Meanwhile, up to 2,000 protesters were gathered outside the unfinished parliamentary buildings as an act of solidarity for the MPs supporting the changes to the current Thai Constitution.

The reality of the vote, and the setting up of an investigative committee, could push any votes on real reform well into 2021.

The 2 Houses of Parliament voted 431-255 to delay the vote. Opposition Pheu Thai and Move Forward MPs stormed out and missed the opportunity of nominating anyone to the new 45 member parliamentary committee to examine the motions, whilst the remaining members chose members for the committee. Move Forward Party’s, Pita Limjaroenrat, described the vote as “a way to stall for time” complaining that the decision “was moving the country towards a dead end”.

It was not known how the NCPO hand-picked Senators would vote on the bills. Many were thought to side with the idea of constitutional reform but the reality was that, in most scenarios, they’d be voting themselves out of a job if any reforms went ahead. Thailand’s entire upper house is a military-appointed rump of conservative former businesspeople and Army officials, mostly men.

Charter vote delayed, committee formed and Senators escape Parliament by boat - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

The protesters viewed the afternoon’s proceedings as a blunt stalling tactic to keep the current parliament, and its unelected senators, in power. The session ran until 8.30 last night. Rather than face the angry mob of anti-government protesters at the front of the building, most of the senators escaped on boat at the rear of the building, which backs onto Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.

The demonstrators, with a consistent theme of reform over 3 months of rallies, are demanding changes to the current constitution because it was drafted by the NCPO who kicked out the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014.

The protesters specifically point to the NCPO-appointed senate and the power they wield to elect the country’s prime minister, even though none of them were elected (nor was Prayut Chan-o-cha).

Protesters say they will now organise the next lot of rallies in October. Meanwhile, the Parliament is now is recess.

PROTESTSLive scenes from today’s protest rally to lend their voices, albeit from outside the The Parliament, to the debates inside about amendments to the Thai Constitution. The Thai parliament buildings are unfinished and, so it seems, are the student and anti-government protesters.

Posted by The Thaiger on Thursday, September 24, 2020

 

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Road deaths

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

A well known local DJ died early this morning in a high speed car crash on a Bangkok road bend nicknamed “Curve of 100 Deaths.” Police say his car’s speedometer was found stuck at 200 kilometres per hour.

Police suspect 33 year old Annop Poonsripattana was going around a curve when he lost control of the car due to the slippery road conditions from the rain. His black Toyato Altis was found smashed into an electricity pole around 2:30am today. The impact caused Annop to be flung to the back seat. Police say his skull was shattered and his neck broken.

A security guard at a nearby building says heard an explosion and the electricity cut out. The entire area went black, he says. The so called “Curve of 100 Deaths” is near Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. The guard says many fatal crashes happen on the road.

“This area is highly prone to road accidents. Just last week a mother and her small child were killed here.”

The Ratchada Road curve so dangerous that locals honk when driving through the curve to show respect and to ask for permission from the spirits of those who have died there for safe passage, according to Coconuts Bangkok. In the past, many people have left offerings like zebra statues in honour of those who died in car incidents while driving on the road.

Annop played music at many entertainment venues in Bangkok. He was also a contestant in the Take Me Out Thailand TV show in 2015. An autopsy is being done at the Police General Hospital. Electricians are working to fix the electricity pole and restore power.

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | News by The Thaiger

An event with Annop Poonsripattana.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Coconuts Bangkok

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