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NCPO rejects assault claim

The military junta's spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari, yesterday rebutted the allegation by a red-shirt activist that the NCPO had assaulted her during her detention.

Winthai said Kritsuda Khunasen had made the allegation to draw attention from human rights agencies and to discredit the NCPO.

He said Kritsuda was detained because she was related to a suspect "allegedly linked with several crimes". He suspected that Kritsuda made the allegation out of concern for her own safety after having leaked information on the damaged parties to officials.

He said during her detention, Kritsuda had cooperated with authorities and provided useful information. "She has been worried about her own safety and wants to live in oblivion. She asked for protection, which we have provided her," he said.

"Even though authorities have promised to protect her for helping make progress in several cases, as she played a supporting role in those cases, she may not be confident and probably fears that she may suffer legally from the consequences, or she fears her life may be in danger because of her statements that adversely affect the damaged parties," he said.

Winthai suspected that Kritsuda had changed her stance after consulting people close to her and some red-shirt members who had escaped abroad.

"We treat every detainee with proper principles and reasons and with respect for human rights. There is no reason we would do otherwise or do anything against the public's feeling during these delicate and sensitive times when we know everyone is closely watching us," he said.

In an effort to prove she was treated well during her detention, the Army aired a special TV programme with several minutes of footage that shows Kritsuda sitting at a table talking. Her boyfriend, who was also in detention, is shown with her.

"In the footage, you can see that she smiles naturally and her facial expression and sparkling eyes show that she was not forced as claimed," Winthai said.

The Cross Cultural Foundation yesterday issued a statement calling on the junta to clarify the allegation made by Krtisuda.

Kritsuda was detained by security forces on May 28 in Chon Buri province, east of Bangkok, and was released after almost a month in detention.

She then fled abroad and revealed in an interview on Saturday that she was tortured during |detention.


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