Muslim Attorney Center and Cross Cultural Foundation
For immediate release on 3 February 2015
Administrative Court accepts to hear the case and waive court fees for relatives of EJE victim, the second case of its kind
Villagers were subjected to extrajudicial killings at Ban Sanae, Narathiwat
On 2 February 2015, legal representatives of the plaintiffs were informed by the Songkhlka Administrative Court via a court writ that the Court has accepted to hear the case filed since 28 January 2015 as the Black Case no. 155/2557. In this case, Ms. Zamziya Hayimatalo, and her three young children with the mother of the slain villager, as the plaintiffs no. 1-5, have brought a suit against and demanded compensation from the Royal Thai Police and the Office of the Prime Minister, the defendants no. 1 and 2 as police officials under their charge have allegedly fired at Mr. Supiang Salae causing him to die on 5 October 2013 at Ban Sanae, Tambon Riang, Muang District, Narathiwat. All the five plaintiffs were allowed to waive the court fees. Insofar, in all cases related to the murder in the village, the Songkhla Administrative Court has exempted the plaintiffs from paying the court fees including the cases concerning the deaths of Mr. Supiang Salae and Mr. Usaman Tengsamae (the latter case was accepted by the Administrative Court on 22 January 2015 as the Black Case no. 156/2557 with the waiver of the court fees).
The lawsuits filed with the Administrative Court to demand damages are related to an incidence which took place on 5 October 2013 in which police officials from the Southern Border Provinces Police Operation Center (SBPPOC) in combined forces with the military have raided Ban Sanae, Moo 1, Tambon Riang, Muang District, Narathiwat. While the military officials were cordoning off, different units of the police forces moved in to conduct a search and apprehend suspects related to insurgency groups. While cordoning the house no. 12/4 in the village, Mr. Supiang Salae and Mr. Usaman Tengsamae voluntarily came out and identified themselves to the searching officials and no illegal weapons or materials were found in their home. Each of them was tied with plastic wraps on their hands and was brought to a holding place with a group of other persons under apprehension outside the village. After that, there was some gunfire exchange between the police and some suspects who still hid themselves in the house. After calm has returned, two persons who exchanged gunfire with the police were found injured (and later died). At the moment, the police have brought Mr. Supiang Salae and Mr. Usaman Tengsamae who were under restraint back to the crime scene. First, Mr. Supiang Salae was brought inside the house, while Mr. Usaman Tengsamae was brought to a rubber plantation behind the house. The officials claimed the two persons were brought there to identify the dead perpetrators in the house and to look for weapons. But it has turned out that both Mr. Supiang Salae and Mr. Usaman Tengsamae were shot dead by the police in the house and in the rubber plantation respectively. The police claimed while being brought to the crime scene, both have taken the weapons and tried to fight the police.
The incidence has cast strong doubts among the local villagers and relatives of both victims as to why Mr. Supiang Salae and Mr. Usaman Tengsamae were shot dead while they were under restraint and held in official custody. To them, the action of the police was fatally excessive and unnecessary causing deaths on 5 October 2014. Ms. Zamziya Hayimatalo, and her three young children with the mother of the slain villager, as the plaintiffs no. 1-5, have filed a lawsuit with the Songkhla Administrative Court demanding compensation from the Royal Thai Police and the Office of the Prime Minister as the agencies in charge of the police officials operating in the Southern Border Provinces. They are being held accountable to provide compensation for the damage caused by the government officials who have infringed upon the rights and liberties of the deceased villagers. The total amount of requested compensation is 24,127,622.50 baht plus 7.5% interest per annum of the amount in dispute of 22,444,300 baht from the filing date until all payment is made to the five plaintiffs as the Black Case no. 155/2557. The five plaintiffs have asked for a waiver of the court fees (which normally amount to 2% of the amount in dispute). The hearing to inquire on the economic status of the plaintiffs was conducted by the Court on 27 November 2014.
For more information, please contact Mr. Preeda Nakpew, attorney of the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), at 02-6934939 or 089-6222474