Young Thai conscript found dead 10 days into military service

A Thai young conscript was found dead at his base on Monday (Sept 14).
PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

Thai netizens on Tuesday demanded an end to military conscription after a Facebook post announced the death of another young conscript in mysterious circumstances.

Seree Butwong, 21, was found dead at his base on Monday, just 10 days after entering military service, said the post, which was apparently written by the victim’s family.

It went on to say: “Our family has received the word “sorry” for the lifeless body of a younger brother, plus Bt20,000 (S$900) for initial funeral costs. Is that the price of a family’s loss? The family is suspicious of the true cause of the death. Our brother walked into a camp, but came out in a coffin.”

On Monday, an Army general notified the family that the victim died of a blood clot, preventing blood flow to the brain, at about at 1.45am on Monday morning.

On Tuesday, the hashtag “end conscription” began trending on Twitter along with pictures of Seree.

Thai PBS reports that the Army has returned Seree’s body to his hometown in the Northeast province of Surin.

Army spokesman Maj-General Thirapong Patthamasing na Ayudhya told media on Tuesday that doctors at Bhumibol Hospital had diagnosed the conscript’s cause of death as an irregular heartbeat and not due to any physical attack. He added that the victim’s father, Somsong, had accepted the doctors’ findings.

The Army has offered to pay funeral costs and Bt200,000 in compensation to Seree’s family.

Several conscripts have died in mysterious circumstances at military bases in recent years.