Hmong Man Beaten Unconscious by 10 ‘Cops’

 | Wed 15 Oct 2014 20:30 ICT

CityNews – Witnesses are being urged to come forward following a vicious assault on a Hmong man by thugs claiming to be police officers.
Wasan Saeyang, second left, and village head Duangthip Kamjoy, far right, at a meeting with journalists on Monday. Photo: Weerasak Panyachod.

Police say they are investigating, and if any officers were involved in the incident they will be punished.

Victim Wasan Saeyang, 18, works as a gardener at a park in Mae Rim. He said he was resting in a shed during his lunch break on Monday when 10 men burst in and attacked him, claiming they were policemen.

One pointed a gun at his head and told him to sit down, and another blindfolded him, tied his hands behind his back and asked: “Where did you hide the drugs?”

When Wasan replied that he did not know what they were talking about, they beat him unconsciousness. He was left with a black eye and bruises on his body, and later vomited blood.

The headman of his village, Duangthip Kamjoy, insisted that residents were not involved with narcotics and urged police chiefs to arrest those responsible. If they were police officers, he said, they overreacted.

Wasan’s relatives have also called for someone to be held responsible for the matter, and say they will ask Chiang Mai governor Suriya Prasartbandit for help if no progress is made.

Police Lieutenant-Colonel Boonrak Kamprapan of Mae Rim police station said he did not believe that any of his subordinates were involved, but if they were they would be punished.

Human Rights Watch says it has documented numerous cases of Thai police beating and abusing ethnic minorities and migrant workers from neighbouring countries.

“Burmese and Cambodians who complained about ill treatment at the local level by police or employers frequently faced swift and sure retaliation,” spokesman Phil Robertson told CityNews.

“Ethnic minorities like the Hmong who lack full citizenship in Thailand often face the same types of discriminatory treatment from the police, who can extort and abuse them at will because they are certain that any complaint that person files will not be seriously investigated or result in any punishment against the offending officer.”