Photo: The Maritime Executive.
Thai court sentences former official and orders him to pay compensation to Rohingya human trafficking victim
Songkhla Provincial Court sentenced Former member of the Satun PAO to 22 years and six months and ordered him to pay Rohingya human trafficking victim 126,900 baht as compensation.
The lawyer of the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) has been authorized by Rohingya victim of human trafficking to file a case against Mr. Anat Hayeemasae, former member of the Satun Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) on human trafficking offence and later he was indicted with the Songkhla Provincial Court for violation of the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and on offences against life, body and liberty according to the Penal Code as well as the 1979 Immigration Act. In this case, the Court allowed the legal representative of the victim to be an interpleader as well.
On 25 August 2015 at 13.30, the Songkhla Provincial Court has found the defendant guilty as charged including;
1. Guilty for violating the 1979 Immigration Act for bringing into the Kingdom an alien without permission as per Article 63. He was sentenced to one year of imprisonment on this charge. And for being complicit to provide shelter to irregular migrant in the Kingdom, Article 64, he was sentenced to 6 months of imprisonment.
2. Guilty for violating the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. As a member of a local administration organization, the defendant in collusion with more than two other persons have committed a human trafficking offence as per Article 9 (2) coupled with Articles 13 and 52. He was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment on this charge.
3. Later, the defendant was also found to have committed an offence made possible by three persons upwards which was a violation of Article 4 coupled with Articles 6, 10 and 13 of Anti Human Trafficking Act 2008. He was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment on this charge.
Altogether, the defendant was sentenced to 22 years and 6 months and all incriminating evidence shall be forfeited. The defendant was also ordered to provide indemnity to the victim of human trafficking for the amount of 126,900 baht.
Nevertheless, the Songkhla Provincial Court has made an order regarding the request to be a co-plaintiff in this human trafficking litigation against Mr. Anat Hayeemasae. The Court deemed that a victim of human trafficking was eligible to be a co-plaintiff only on offences concerning deprivation of liberty as provided for in the Penal Code, but not for culpable offences as per the 1979 Immigration Act and the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, since the latter two offences have been committed against the state and therefore a victim of human trafficking was not eligible to be a co-plaintiff.
Therefore The Songkhla Provincial Court has revoked a previous order made and issued a new order to allow the victim to be a co-plaintiff in this case only on culpable offences against the right to liberty as provided for by the Penal Code.
The Secretary General of the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), Mr. Somchai Homlaor, deems that it serves the objectives of HRDF’s Anti Human Trafficking in Labour Project to provide legal aid to a victim of human trafficking and to ensure the right of the victim of human trafficking to have access to justice process.
However, according to Mr. Somchai, the victim of human trafficking in this case should have been allowed to a co-plaintiff on offences concerning the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and the 1979 Immigration. He cited Article 30 of the Criminal Procedure Code which does not deprive a victim of the right to be a co-plaintiff even though the offence has been committed against the state. HRDF shall take the court order as precedent for further study among legal experts and concerned organizations.
The offence in this case took place on 10 March 2014 when the officials from the Immigration Office 6 have raided and rescued a Rohingya migrant at the Hat Yai bus terminal, Hat Yai District, Songkhla. The authority was informed that an exchange between the Rohingya migrant and the sum of 60,000 baht was going to take place, as relatives of the victim had been asked to bring forth the money for ransom. For more information about the witness examinations in this case, please check out at http://issuu.com/hrdfoundation/docs/07-05-2015 and HRDF newsletter at page 27 http://issuu.com/hrdfoundation/docs
For more detail, please contact Mr. Papob Siamhan, Case Manager, Anti Human Trafficking in Labour Project, Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), phone 094-5485306, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org