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Mum demands justice after soldier son killed in prison

Mum demands justice after soldier son killed in prison

Private serving time in military jail for petty theft reportedly beaten to death by 11 cellmates

Stories about various kinds of abuse taking place on military bases are not uncommon but the public often does not hear any follow-up.

The mother of an army private in Uthai Thani province has called for justice after her son was allegedly beaten to death by 11 other soldiers while sharing a disciplinary cell.

Pvt Kajornsak, 24, was her eldest son and a private in the Fourth Infantry Division, the 44-year-old mother identified only as Somsri told reporters during her son’s funeral at Thung Luang temple in Nong Chang district of Uthai Thani on Saturday.

She said Pvt Kajornsak had been charged with the theft of 500 baht while on leave to visit his wife in Sukhothai in 2021. He was taken to his unit, where he was sentenced to 13 months of detention at a military prison with release scheduled for Dec 15 this year.

After contacting the prison to clarify the details of his release, Ms Somsri was informed on Nov 21 that the prison chief would be coming to meet her personally, causing her great concern.

Before the meeting, however, a village elder informed Ms Somsri that she needed to contact police in Phitsanulok, who told her that her son had died at Fort Somdet Phra Naresuan Maharat Hospital.

Doctors at the hospital indicated Pvt Kajornsak had succumbed to injuries sustained in an assault.

She later learned from the prison chief that Pvt Kajornsak had been attacked by 11 other inmates who have since been charged. She was told that the beating took place after her son allegedly took two packets of coffee from the group.

Admitting shock and confusion over the incident, Ms Somsri said the 11 individuals had reportedly donated 200,000 baht in total to her family as a form of reparation.

She urged the media to follow the case of her son, saying she had seen similar stories about abuses in the military quickly forgotten without any justice being served.

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