ELL: Akha Emergency Request, BEATING DEATH

Matthew McDaniel akha at LOXINFO.CO.TH
Mon Jun 18 17:36:57 UTC 2001


Emergency Request
International Legal Assistance And Financial Assistance Urgently Needed

Elderly Akha Man Beaten By Police, Dies.

Monday 18 June, 2001
Maesai, Chiangrai, Thailand

The sordid tale of an elderly Akha man being rousted from his hut, tied
and beaten then dying within minutes began to unravel in the past few
days in Northern Thailand's Ampur MaeFaluang District of Chiangrai
Province.

Mae Faluang Police angrily insisted the case was closed when approached
today at the request of the Akha people.

57 Year Old Apah Rgoeuh Zuuh Gooh of Mae Salep Akha was grabbed in his
hut next to his fire late in the evening of May 19th.  His hut located
next to the roads in the mountains close to Haen Taek, had a new hut
next to it, built by a man from Poland who had married to his daughter.

Mae Salep Akha testified that the police felt they could get money from
this house because the daughter was married to a foreigner.

Apah was beaten by the police next to his hut and tied and forced onto a
motorbike and taken up the road to the Sam Yak Maesalong Rd Checkpoint
and Police box where he was further beaten in front of his wife who had
followed him and numerous other Akha villagers both from Mae Salep Akha
and Sam Yak Akha.

Finally he was loaded in a truck after being accused of trading in opium
of which  none was found.  His final words to his wife were that he felt
that he "was dying".

A passing policeman's truck was used as he was coming off duty and going
home.  Apah was tied and handcuffed in the back of his truck and the
driver was told to take him to Mae Faluang Police station.  But within
two kilometers Apah had already collapsed from his beating.  The lone
police driver stopped.  Apah was immediately found moments later laying
dead in the road, blood coming from his left ear.

At nearly midnight the police came to his daughter's hut and asked her
for money to get her father out of jail. Her husband from Poland asked
how much?  But her father had already been dead for  five hours.

Suddenly the radio chirped and Apah's daughter heard words on the radio,
knowing her father was dead.  The police quickly left without any money.

Other police moved the body to the hospital at Haen Taek.

Apah's body was kept there four days until it was moved to Chiangrai
Provincial Hospital were am autopsy was performed with x-rays.

The performing doctor stated that Apah had died of a blow to the low
back part of the skull, fracturing it and causing a brain stem hemorrage
and death, blood coming from the one ear.

Mae Faluang Police promised to pay money to the family to close the
matter.

Money of some quantity was paid but the amount promised and the amount
paid is in dispute.

Witnesses are afraid to testify who witnessed the beating at the Sam Yak
intersection and Mae Salep village.

We are in urgent need of observers, reporters and media coverage from in
and outside of Thailand.

There have been repeated shootings and killings of Akha in
extra-judicial fashion.

We are also seeking anyone with expertise in forensic medicine.

We urgently need your presence and financial assistance at this time.

Persuing evidence in this case strains our already minimal resources.

Please make a donation to this work!

Let us know if you can come to Thailand as an observer, reporter,
witness or expert witness in support of the Akha Community to help us
find justice in this case.

Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
Thailand

http://www.akha.org

Credit Card Donation Site:

http://www.drugwar.com/store/proddetail.cfm?ItemID=12&CategoryID=6

Your donation goes to infant care, vitamins, medical supplies, wells,
bread and fish for the villages.

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:

The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem OR 97304  USA

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