Court bomb suspect forgives 'abuse'

Court bomb suspect forgives 'abuse'

Sansern Sriounruen, left in this photo taken earlier this month, has marks on his body where he was allegedly punched, trampled and subjected to electrocution. (Bangkok Post photo)
Sansern Sriounruen, left in this photo taken earlier this month, has marks on his body where he was allegedly punched, trampled and subjected to electrocution. (Bangkok Post photo)

A suspect in the Criminal Court grenade attack said he has forgiven the military who he claims tortured him during detention early this month.

The military denied Sansern Sriounruen's allegations.

"I've forgiven the soldiers who assaulted me on the day we left [the detention facility]," he told the Bangkok Post. 

Speaking from behind bars, Mr Sansern claimed he and three other suspects in the court attack case were slapped, punched, and kicked in the head, chest, and back by interrogators while in detention.

Mr Sansern claims marks visible on his upper-right leg were from electric shocks.

He is one of more than a dozen suspects arrested for alleged involvement in the throwing of an RDG-5 grenade into the Criminal Court's car park on Ratchadaphisek Road on March 7. 

Mr Sansern, Charnwit Jariyanukul, Wichai Yoosuk and Norapat Lueapol all allege they were tortured while in military custody from March 9 to 15, according to the legal defence group, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

The suspects claim authorities tortured them to extract information and force them to confess to involvement in the attack. The military denies the claims, but says it is prepared to investigate.

Mr Sansern, 62, a Nakhon Pathom native, has been under the media spotlight after reports last week included photos of scars on his body.

"I feel less pain in my chest now," Mr Sansern said, lifting his prison shirt to show the areas where he was allegedly punched and trampled.

"I told interrogators I wouldn't pursue any lawsuit against them. But I will never stop telling anyone who asks about the torture," said the former student activist. Earlier, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch expressed concern over the claims of torture.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri, the Royal Thai Police Office spokesman, has denied Mr Sansern's claim of torture, saying the doctors who examined him confirmed there were no signs on his body that could prove his claim.

Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, the deputy premier in charge of national security, insisted last week that no one had been beaten while under detention. "These people are in detention because they committed misconduct. We need to look into the allegations against them," he said of the suspects.

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