Judges uphold self-defence ruling in killing of activist

Judges uphold self-defence ruling in killing of activist

The Appeal Court on Wednesday upheld a Civil Court ruling dismissing 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 ruling was read out at the Civil Court on Ratchadaphisek Road yesterday. The plaintiff's attorney, Ratsada Manuratsada, human rights lawyer Janjira Janpaew and human rights defender Angkhana Neelapaijit attended the hearing which lasted about an hour.

After the hearing, Mr Ratsada told the media the court ruled to dismiss the lawsuit and said the army has no need to pay compensation to Chaiyaphum's family. The court considered the M16 rifle that a soldier shot Chaiyaphum with was used in self-defence and out of necessity.

The case was originally filed in May 2019 by Napoi Pasae, Chaiyaphum's mother, who asked to be compensated for damages caused by the army. In October 2020, the Civil Court in Bangkok dismissed the lawsuit, ruling the officers shot Chaiyaphum in self-defence and out of necessity, leaving the army with no liability to pay damages.

The officers claimed they found drugs in Chaiyaphum's car and had to shoot him because he resisted their search and tried to throw a grenade at them. However, a witness told local media that Chaiyaphum was dragged out of the car, beaten and shot.

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