Corrections Department claims officers wanted to separate Ratsadon detainees for COVID-19 screening
Thailand’s Corrections Department has issued a clarification, in response to a claim by Anon Nampa, one of the seven core Ratsadon leaders detained at Bangkok remand prison, that prison officers acted suspiciously in trying to separate some of them in the middle of the night.
The department said that, at about 11 pm Monday night, Mr. Veerakit Harnpripan, deputy director-general of the Corrections Department, accompanied by medics and nurses from the department’s hospital, visited the cell where the seven Ratsadon leaders were detained, with nine other detainees, in order to conduct COVID-19 tests.
The seven Ratsadon leaders are Arnon Nampa, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Panupong Jadnok, alias Mike Rayong, Jatupat Boonpatthararaksa, alias Pai Daodin, Somyos Prueksakasemsook, Piyarat “Toto” Chongthep and Patiwat Saraiyaem.
The department said that the Ratsadon group refused to undergo testing, making it necessary for prison officers to separate them from the rest of the detainees, in line with the department’s policy to prevent the spread of the disease in prison.
It said that the seven detainees resisted their transfer from their cell to the prison hospital, claiming that they might not be safe there, adding that prison officers found it necessary to move the other nine detainees to a different cell instead.
The department maintains that the prison officers were simply performing their duty and had not done anything arbitrary or to harm the detainees.