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Police fail to turn up to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) summons

Yesterday the police ignored a summons to the National Human Rights Commission to answer questions with regards to the alleged torture of the two migrant workers who have been charged for the murders of David Miller and Hannah Witheridge in Koh Tao last month.

Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin last week told a team from the Lawyers’ Council of Thailand that there were not guilty of the heinous crimes and were tortured until they confessed to a crime they did not commit. As a result the NHRC’s subcommittee on civilians’ rights and political rights summoned representatives from the National Police Office to provide information. The National Police Office, however, told the NHRC that on their part the case had been completed and was now in the hand of the public prosecutors and that they would need to seek prior approval from the said prosecutors before providing any details of the case to the NHRC. In response Dr Niran Pitakwatchara the NHRC commissioner who chairs the subcommittee on civilian rights and political rights said that the National Police Office should realize that the NHRC is not investigating the murder, but in fact, looking into the alleged abuse of human rights and went on to say that the subcommittee will summon the police again and a complaint will be lodged if there is no response. Niran said “The police must come before our subcommittee to provide information on November 3rd at 1.30pm.

At the Koh Samui Provincial Court yesterday a request by the police to extend the suspects detention by a further 12 days was approved as more time was needed to complete the investigation as the Public prosecutors have instructed investigators to proved more information for the third time. The judge said that the suspects could be detained for a further 84 days.

Some reports suggest that the British police are already gathering information on the case and looking into allegations that the ‘real’ culprit may still be at large.

In the meantime the X-ray results on the suspects show no indication of assault according to Dr Nirund Pitakwatchra, however this was not an unexpected result as the suspects were arrested on October the 1st and the X-rays were taken over two weeks later so it would be very difficult to find anything unusual he said.

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