Chaiyaphum owed more than lost data

Chaiyaphum owed more than lost data

In the age of video clips, one video clip is absent. At a time when we're inundated by cat clips, dog clips, accident clips, slap clips, brawl clips, grope clips, chase clips, murder clips -- when we even have clips recorded from the depths of a dark cave where light hardly reaches -- it's amazing that one crucial clip, shot in broad daylight, is missing, lost or made to be lost forever, along with transparency and maybe justice.

This week the army confirmed that the CCTV footage that supposedly recorded what happened on the day activist Chaiyaphum Pasae was shot dead by a soldier is lost. "Data not found" and "no data recorded", said a letter sent to a human rights lawyer working on the high-profile case. The letter, written in the tortuous prose of a bureaucrat, says simply: "Case closed, we're right, you're wrong."

No image, no proof. No evidence, no argument. The real story regarding Chaiyaphum's death will remain an unsolvable mystery, just like many extrajudicial killings in this country.

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Kong Rithdee

Bangkok Post columnist

Kong Rithdee is a Bangkok Post columnist. He has written about films for 18 years with the Bangkok Post and other publications, and is one of the most prominent writers on cinema in the region.

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