Rights group urges Kritsuda probe (updated)

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on Thailand to look into the alleged torture of Kritsuda Khunasen.

"The Thai junta's alleged torture of a detained activist is further cause for alarm that rights protections are not on the military's agenda," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Only by promptly investigating Kritsuda's allegations and prosecuting those responsible can the junta undo its knee-jerk denial of her serious charges."

The red-shirt activist claimed in a video clip released last Sunday she was ''physically tortured and assaulted'' by officials of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after being arrested in Chon Buri and detained in a military camp on May 28.

The NCPO dismissed the accusations, saying she was properly treated during the military detention. She was released on June 24 and left the country the next day.

The 27-year-old activist was arrested after ignoring an NCPO order for her to report to the council, which suspected her of involvement in computer crime and weapons-related charges.

The New York-based group said an independent investigation should be immediately set up to shed lights on the case.

"Kritsuda's alleged torture is a test case for the Thai junta's commitment to respect human rights and ensure justice for victims of abuse," Mr Adams said.

NCPO spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree dismissed Human Rights Watch's call. The council has no plans to look into the case and has evidence to counter her accusations, he added.

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