2 September 2022
Subject: Department of Special Investigation (DSI) should investigate the case against Pol Cpl Kornsasi Buayaem, instead of the agency to which she is affiliated
Dear Director General of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI),
CC: 1. Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police
2. Chairperson of the Committee on Corruption Prevention and Suppression, House of Representatives
3. Prime Minister
As widely reported, a female military officer (the injured party) has reported the case with the inquiry official of the Muang Ratchaburi Police Station against Pol Cpl Kornsasi Buayaem, Squadron Commander, Sub-Division 4, Special Branch 4 together with evidence attesting to the physical injuries inflicted on herself. Later on 18 August 2022, the suspect has turned herself in to answer to the charges for being “a government official engaged in the exploitation and forced labour or service by compelling the other person to work or provide service by putting such person in fear of injury to life, body, liberty, reputation or property, of such person or another person, procuring, buying, selling, vending, bringing from or sending to, detaining or confining, harboring, or receiving any person, by means of the threat or use of force, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, or of the giving money or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person in allowing the offender to exploit the person under his control for the purpose of human trafficking and causing injury to the other person in body or mind with a criminal offence.”
According to reports, the case has started from around 2016 when the injured party was persuaded by the alleged offender, her employer with police title, to apply for a military position. With help from influential people, she was recruited as a military officer. Later in 2020, the injured party was transferred to being a servant military officer at the alleged offender’s house. She was supposed to look after cooking, house cleaning and other household chore. During the course of her work for the alleged offender, the injured party claims to have sustained severe injuries caused by the alleged offender through various methods including being exposed to hair straightener, hit in the face by steel ruler until sustaining fractured nasal bone, head injury, lacerated earlobe, being hit with cloth hanger, etc. in order to exploit her by subjecting her to forced labour. The injured party had to endure such physical and mental brutality against her for more than two years without being able to seek help as she was subject to intimidation to prevent her from escaping or complaining and seeking justice.
As a civil society organization which implements an anti-trafficking project and offers legal assistance to survivors in trafficking cases, the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) opines that in this case, the acts of the alleged offender do not just constitute an infliction of severe physical and mental injury, but also a crime of forced labour and human trafficking pursuant to the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act B.E. 2551’s Sections 6 and 6/1. The act has been revised following the Thailand’s ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to the ILO Forced Labour Convention no. 29, 1930. They also constitute the act of slavery and slavery-like practices and the act of torture against the injured party pursuant to the Draft Act on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance B.E…..which has recently been enacted by the Parliament.
Moreover, according to reports, the acts of the alleged offender in this case could have been made possible with her connection to people who have used their influence to ensure the alleged offender was recruited as an official of the Royal Thai Police, and the use of influence by the alleged offender and her cronies to ensure the injured party was recruited as a military officer as well as the use of influence to transfer the injured party to be a servant at the alleged offender’s house. If the alleged practices could be established, they shall implicate government officials and influential people in various agencies including the Royal Thai Police, the Royal Thai Army, the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 (ISOC), and others. An investigation by inquiry official under the RTP to which the injured party is affiliated may pave the way for high-ranking officials involved with the corruption and the malpractice to interfere and pervert the course of justice, similar to several other previous cases. This will not just leave the injured party not served with justice, but also compromise the effort to address corruption which is undermining integrity of the Thai bureaucratic system at present.
HRDF deems that it should be taken as a principle that the agency to which a suspect is affiliated should not be left with duty to carry out an inquiry to ensure fairness, transparency and to remove any doubt from the public. This should include cases concerning an offence against the anti-trafficking law which fall under the mandate of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).
HRDF therefore urges that DSI has the mandate to carry out the investigation in this case.
Chairperson of Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)
For more information, please contact Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF),
phone 02 277 6882 E-mail : [email protected]