The picture of Pvt Songtham Mudmad, 23, was placed at a local Buddhist temple in Sichon district, Nakhon Si Thammarat, for his funeral. (Photo by Nujaree Raekrun)
In most recent of several military abuse cases to make it to mainstream & social media, six non-commissioned officers (NCOs) beat a recruit to death.
Six soldiers jailed for beating another soldier to death
Camp beating leaves 1 private dead, 1 hurt
The army on Wednesday jailed six soldiers 30-45 days who allegedly colluded to beat two privates in Yala on Friday, leaving one dead and the other seriously injured.
According to Pvt Chatpisut Chumphan, 23, who spoke to police after the beating, he and Pvt Songtham Mudmad, 23, accused one of the non-commissioned officers (NCOs), who would later beat them, of stealing their money.
The accused officer made a counter - claim, accusing Pvt Songtham of taking illegal drugs.
Both privates asked to search the officer, but he refused, leading to a brawl. The soldiers dispersed after other officers intervened.
BEATEN TO DEATH BY SIX OFFICERS
About 9pm, both were allegedly attacked by six officers including the officer they accused of theft. They were kicked and beaten with hard objects.
The assault lasted until 4am the next morning. Pvt Chatpisut found Pvt Songtham, who passed out during the incident, and subsequently stopped breathing.
Pvt Songtham was revived by CPR and taken to the hospital but pronounced dead on Monday morning.
One sub-lieutenant was jailed 30 days, five other non-commissioned officers (NCOs) (corporals & privates first class) were imprisoned 45 days.
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the suspects could face more punishment, including military discharge. He added that the relatives of the victims could file lawsuits and that the military and police will conduct the investigation jointly as it involves criminal matters.
Army spokesman Winthai Suvaree said on Tuesday that a military panel had concluded the six officers colluded in the assault on the privates. He insisted the army will not protect the offenders and harsh punishment will be brought against them.
Pvt Songtham's family on Tuesday filed at a local police station against the officers who beat the private to death.
ANNUAL MILITARY CONSCRIPTION
Every year Thailand has a military draft (annual military conscription) in which young Thai men are selected for two years of military service.
Exemptions are given for some medical conditions and high school military training (known as ROTC in the US).
This year the army needs around 100,000 recruits to serve as privates.
For some young men serving in the military is a hardship, but in some areas the annual contribution of recruits is filled mainly by volunteers who value the free place to live (accommodation) and steady income as well as the prestige sometimes associated with serving in the military.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
Several cases of abuse of draftees during their conscription period have made their way to social media and mainstream media.
Last month, a recruit was beaten up by two soldiers and had his jaw broken in Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
In a high-profile 2011 case, several officers beat a new recruit, Whichian Phuaksom who had recently left the monkhood, to death in Narathiwat province (for more info read detailed Spectrum article here).
Video clips of recruits being abused have been shared on social media.
This increased exposure of the public to the reality of abusive behaviour has led to a debate on the issue and calls for reform.
Learn from listening
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abuse (noun): cruel, violent or unfair treatment, especially of someone who does not have the power to prevent it - การข่มเหง, การปฏิบัติไม่ดีต่อ
abusive (adj.): involving violence - ซึ่งเป็นอันตราย, ทารุณ
accommodation : a place for someone to stay, live, or work - ที่พัก
according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน
accuse : to say that someone has done something wrong or committed a crime - กล่าวหา
accused : to be said to have done something wrong or committed a crime - ถูกกล่าวหา
adj (noun): connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร
allegedly : claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven - ที่กล่าวหา
annual : happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี
assault : an attack by the armed forces - การทำร้ายด้วยอาวุธ
assault (verb): to attack someone violently, either physically or in some other way, e.g., smell - ทำร้ายร่างกาย, ทำร้าย
attack (noun): an action that you take to try to stop or change something that you feel is bad; an act of trying to hurt or kill somebody - การโจมตี
beat : to hit someone violently several times - ตี, เคาะ, หวด, ตบ, เฆี่ยน
beaten : when someone is hit violently several times - ตี, เคาะ, หวด, ตบ, เฆี่ยน
beating : an act of hitting somebody hard and repeatedly, as a punishment or in a fight - การตีซ้ำๆ, การฟาดซ้ำๆ
behaviour : the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว
brawl : a rough, noisy, uncontrolled fight - การทะเลาะกัน, การวิวาท
breathing (noun): bringing air in and out of the lungs - การหายใจ
case : a particular situation or a situation of a particular type - กรณี, เหตุการณ์, สถานการณ์
claim (noun): saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
collude : to act together secretly or illegally in order to deceive or cheat someone - สมรู้ร่วมคิด
conditions : the circumstances or situation in which people live, work or do things - เหตุการณ์, สภาพการ, สถานการณ์
conduct : to do something in an organised way; to carry out — - ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
conscription : the practice of ordering people by law to serve in the armed forces - การเกณฑ์ทหาร
corporal : a non-commissioned officer of low rank in the army - นายสิบโท
counter : to go against - ต้าน, แย้ง
CPR (noun): 'cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ (breathing air into the mouth of an unconscious person and pressing on their chest to keep them alive by sending air around their body) - การปั๊มหัวใจ
criminal : relating to illegal acts - เกี่ยวกับอาชญากรรม
discharge : to allow someone officially to leave somewhere, especially a hospital or a court of law - ได้รับอนุญาตให้ออกจาก
disperse : (of a crowd of people) to separate and leave in different directions - สลายฝูงชน
draft : (of conscription) to order people by law to serve in the armed forces - เกณฑ์ทหาร
draftee (noun): people who are drafted to be soldiers - ทหารเกณฑ์
exemption : permission to not have to do something, such as making a payment, following a rule, etc. - ข้อยกเว้น
exposure : experience with or information about something - ประสบการณ์
filed (verb): took official action, e.g., made a formal complaint or an appeal - ยื่น, ยื่นคำร้อง, ยื่นฟ้องร้อง
hardship : difficulty - ความลำบาก
harsh (adjective): cruel, severe and unkind - กระด้าง, รุนแรง, ห้าว, เกรี้ยวกราด
high-profile (adj): creating a lot of public attention - เป็นที่สนใจจากคนในสังคม
illegal : against the law - อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
imprisoned : in a prison or another place from which a person cannot escape - ถูกขัง
incident : something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์
injured (adj): hurt in an accident, natural disaster, attack, etc. - ได้รับบาดเจ็บ
insist : to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
intervene : to become involved in a situation in order to try to stop or change it - แทรกแซง
investigation : the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened - การสอบสวน, การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
involve (verb): to be an important or necessary part or result of something - เกี่ยวพัน, เกี่ยวข้อง, พัวพัน
jail (verb): to put somebody in prison - จำคุก
jaw (noun): the bone on the lower part of the mouth that goes up and down when chewing food - ขากรรไกร
jointly : done together - อย่างร่วมกัน, พร้อมกัน, ด้วยกัน
lawsuit : a case that a court is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two people or groups - คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาล
leading to : causing -
local : in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
mainstream : ordinary - ทางหลัก
matter : a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered - เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
media : radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ
medical : connected with illness and injury and their treatment - ทางการแพทย์, ด้านการแพทย์, เกี่ยวกับการแพทย์
military service : when a person works in the military for a period of time -
monkhood : the fact of being a monk - เพศพระภิกษุ, เพศบรรพชิต, ความเป็นพระ
non-commissioned officer (noun): a soldier in the army, etc. who has a rank such as sergeant or corporal, but not a high rank - ทหารชั้นประทวน
non-commissioned officers : NCOs, officers such as sergeants and corporals who are not commissioned officers starting from Lieutenant and above -
object : a thing that can be seen or touched, but is not alive - วัตถุ, สิ่งของ
offender : a person who is guilty of a crime - ผู้กระทำความผิด
officer (noun): someone with a position of power and authority in the armed forces - นายทหาร
panel : a group of people who make decisions or judgments - คณะกรรมการ
passed out : became unconscious - หมดสติ
period : a particular length of time - ระยะเวลา
private : the lowest rank of soldier in the army - พลทหาร
pronounce (verb): to say or give something formally, officially or publicly - ประกาศ
protect : to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน
province : one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด
punishment : an act or a way of punishing somebody - การลงโทษ
reality : what is actually happening - ความเป็นจริง
recruit : a new member of the armed forces - ทหารใหม่
reform : a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป
refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
relatives (noun): members of your family - ญาติพี่น้อง
revive : to come or bring something back to existence or use - ฟื้นฟู, ทำให้เกิดขึ้นอีก
search (noun): looking somewhere or through something carefully in order to find something - การค้นหา
select : to choose - คัดเลือก
social media : the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
steady : staying at the same level, speed, value etc - ไม่เปลี่ยนแปลง, สม่ำเสมอ
steal : to take something from a person, shop/store, etc. without permission and without intending to return it or pay for it - ขโมย
sub-lieutenant : an officer just below that of lieutenant - ร้อยตรี
subsequently : happening or coming after something else - ซึ่งตามมา
suspect : a person who is thought to have committed a crime - ผู้ต้องสงสัย
the public : people in general - ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
theft (noun): (the act of) dishonestly taking something which belongs to someone else and keeping it - การลักขโมย
training (noun): teaching people how to do a certain job or activity - การฝึกอบรม, การฝึก, การอบรม
victim : someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
video clip (noun): a short piece of video, in YouTube, for example - คลิปวีดีโอ