Stung by public revelations about recruits being mistreated, the Royal Thai Army has instructed its conscript trainers to mete out punishment strictly according to regulation and to prohibit photos and videos during training.
Army chief assistant General Weerachai Inthusopon on behalf of the Army chief signed an “urgent” memo to all units on March 20 that Isranews Agency published on Monday.
It bars from social media any photos and videos of weapons being used, punishments being carried out and images of soldiers considered “inappropriate”.
Units were instructed to put new recruits through appropriate exercise regimens and ensure their living conditions were hygienic and that they received sufficient food supplements and minerals.
Any punishment of conscripts who violate regulations must adhere to Defence Ministry guidelines, which prohibit physical assault and the use of sexual humiliation in an attempt to bully the offenders.
Supervising officers using such tactics would face disciplinary action including dismissal from service and criminal prosecution, the memo said.
Taking photos or videos of training, weaponry and recruits being punished, as well as inappropriate images of soldiers shared on social networks, would violate the Military Disciplinary Act 1933 (BE 2476).
Isranews Agency expressed the belief that the memo, with its emphasis on ending physical assault as a means of punishing military conscripts, as seen in previously released images that top officers insist originated years ago, was aimed at restoring the Army’s reputation.