Brutal treatment of army conscripts banned, says Defence
The Defence Ministry will take harsh action against soldiers involved in beating up army conscripts, ministry spokesman Col Thanathip Sawangseang said on Monday.
- Published: 22/04/2013 at 05:22 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
One assault was videod and the clip posted on social networks last week. It shows soldiers slapping and repeatedly kicking a draftee - even when he was on the ground - who had reportedly breached discipline by fighting with another conscript.
The video attracted harsh criticism from the public.
Another video clip emerged later showing two army recruits stripped, tied and beaten up.
The explanation with the1.36 minute clip posted online roughly translates as "punishment for smoking and lying 18+". It was posted on YouLike facebook fan page and shows two young soldiers being stripped, their hands and legs tied with rope and then being beaten by a group of men.
Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanathat, on Monday chaired a meeting to discuss the issue, the spokesman said.
"The ministry will see to it that the soldiers are punished for their actions," Col Thanathip said after the meeting.
Col Thanathip agreed the videos portray a bad image of the army and the ministry.
He said the only punishments allowed for disciplinary offences by a soldier are probation, fines, detention and confinement.
While there are some training camps where work is required to change the "mindset" of ranking officers towards the treatment of conscripts, most of the camps and their commanding officers strictly abide by these rules, he said.
"There is absolutely no tolerance for violence and anyone found guilty of it will be punished," he said.
"The ministry has issued a set of rules for ranking officers on the treatment of their subordinates and anyone found breaking them will be swiftly and harshly punished," the ministry spokesman said.
"New conscripts are important resources for the country and we have to make sure that they are treated with respect," he added.
Deputy army spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree issued an apology to the public.
He said the trainers' actions were "inappropriate".
Col Winthai said the video was taken in 2011 and 10 trainers at the camp had been detained and an investigation begun.
He said the army has clear rules that must be strictly followed and anyone found guilty will be harshly punished.
"The army commander-in chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, has ordered officers in charge of training camps to make sure that punishments are limited to those set down in army regulations," Col Winthai said.
"I assure the people that your sons will be properly be taken care of. The army views them as being family," he said.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam
- Position: Reporter