Lawyer’s case raises “impunity” charge in Thailand

Lawyer’s case raises “impunity” charge in Thailand – Reuters, March 16, 2011
…In a rare prosecution of a member of the security forces, Police Major Ngern Tongsuk was sentenced to three years in prison in 2006 for assaulting Somchai, then chairman of the Muslim Lawyers Association, but the Appeal Court reversed the verdict on Friday, saying witness accounts and evidence were inconclusive.
Ngern was released on bail after the initial guilty verdict and then went missing. His family said he disappeared in a mudslide in northern Thailand in 2008.
“It’s like a joke, except it’s not very funny,” Somchai’s widow, Angkhana Neepapaijit, told Reuters.
…Angkhana, a human rights activist, plans to appeal to the Supreme Court but knows it will be an uphill task. “Like so many cases, one witness after another has pulled out through fear for their lives. Witness protection here is useless.”
She has been threatened several times herself. Closed-circuit cameras outside her home are frequently destroyed and before the latest verdict she received threatening phone calls…

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