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Public Health Ministry dismisses report about sexual harassment case

Aug 21. 2017
Dr Somsak Akksilp
Dr Somsak Akksilp
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By The Nation

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The Public Health Ministry has dismissed reports that a senior official has tried to persuade a temporary employee to withdraw a sexual harassment complaint against her direct supervisor.

“No, there’s no such lobbying attempt,” the ministry deputy permanent secretary Dr Somsak Akksilp said on Monday.

He added that to assure the public that the ministry had not tried to protect the accused official, the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Sopon Mekthon had also ordered an investigation into the alleged lobbying attempt. 

The order was issued after the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation cried foul over the reported attempt to dismiss the complaint. 

Somsak said a deputy director had questioned whether the sexual harassment was so serious that the female temporary employee had to go to the police. 

The victim lodged a complaint with police earlier this month, drawing the public’s attention and prompting Sopon to launch an investigation of the supervisor, Assadej Rattanaworaprasert.

Assadej heads a unit under the ministry’s Office of the Permanent Secretary. 

According to the complaint, the 40-year-old official had sexually harassed several subordinates for years. 

A colleague recently helped the complainant record an incident of alleged harassment to substantiate her complaint with video evidence.

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