Civil Court dismisses claim against army over Lahu activist's death

Civil Court dismisses claim against army over Lahu activist's death

Napoy Pasae, Chaiyaphum's mother, leaves the Civil Court after filing the compensation lawsuit against the army on May 22, 2019. (Photo: Patipat Janthong)
Napoy Pasae, Chaiyaphum's mother, leaves the Civil Court after filing the compensation lawsuit against the army on May 22, 2019. (Photo: Patipat Janthong)

The Civil Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed against the army for compensation over the death of Lahu human rights activist Chaiyaphum Pasae, who was shot dead at a checkpoint in Chiang Mai province in 2017.

The court found that the soldier who fired the shots that killed Chaiyaphum had acted in self-defence. 

On March 17, 2017,  a car in which Chaiyaphum, 18, was travelling was stopped for a search at Ban Rin Luang checkpoint in Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai province.

The soldiers claimed they found 2,800 methamphetamine pills in the car's air cleaner. They alleged Chaiyaphum brandished a knife, attempted to escape and tried to throw a hand grenade at them. One of the soldiers shot him dead. 

However, eyewitnesses said Chaiyaphum was dragged from the car, beaten and then shot. 

A case was filed with Chiang Mai Provincial Court. The court ruled the bullet that killed Chaiyaphum was fired by the authorities. The court refused to consider arguments by Chaiyaphum's relatives that he did not possess drugs or hand grenades, saying it was only asked to determine the cause of death.

 Chaiyaphum's mother, Napoy Pasae, filed suit in the Civil Court seeking four million baht compensation from the army.

The court ruled on Monday that after examining witnesses and evidence from both sides there was sufficient evidence to believe Chaiyaphum was involved in drug trafficking, and that the soldier who fired the bullet that killed Chaiyaphum acted in self-defence.

The court dismissed the lawsuit.

Chaiyaphum's relatives said they would consider taking the case to the Appeal Court.

 

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