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Family demands probe into conscript’s death


The family of a conscript found hanged last week at a military base in Roi Et province has demanded an investigation into his death, insisting he had no motive to commit suicide.

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On Monday, lawyer Ronnarong Kaewpetch accompanied family members of the dead man, Pitchawat Wiangnon, 22, to ask Crime Suppression Division chief Suwat Saengnum to get to the bottom of the matter. Pitchawat was found dead at Prasoet Songkram Military Camp on Friday.

Pitchawat's family said authorities threatened them when they asked for more information on his death, adding to their suspicion he had not killed himself.

Ronnarong said that Pitchawat had escaped from the camp the day before his death before being returned by his family at the request of Army officers.

The victim’s mother, Nookrai Bunwiset, 44, said an officer had physically assaulted Pitchawat in previous weeks. She said he had also suffered other incidents of hazing, making him fearful he would not survive in the hostile atmosphere if he returned to the camp.

She said her son suffered from tuberculosis and was frail.

The family was not permitted to see the body and an initial autopsy reported no internal injuries. Doubting the result, the family asked for a second autopsy, and the body was sent to the Forensic Science Institute in Bangkok.

Pitchawat was the second conscript reported dead in mysterious circumstances last week in the Northeast. Sataporn Piadpad was found dead in a punishment cell at the 36th Military Circle in Phetchabun province.

As public pressure mounted on Monday, Army chief Narongphan Jitkaewtae vowed that any wrongdoers in either case would face punishment.

Published : November 09, 2020

By : The Nation