The inmate died on Wednesday (Apr 18). His wife posted pictures on her Wanicha Ouyub Facebook account yesterday (Apr 20) showing him with extremely severe bruising over his body.
The photos went viral online, drawing heavy criticism of prison authorities by social media users.
Wanicha Ouyub wrote that a prison official phoned her on Wednesday evening and said her husband had died of unknown causes. She was shocked. She had visited him on Monday morning (Apr 16), and he looked happy.
She went to Bang Bo Hospital, where his body was sent, and saw severe bruises across his entire back and left arm. There was also a deep bruise behind his left ear, and traces of binding on both hands, she wrote.
She had asked a warden who took her husband’s body to the hospital what had happened and was told that he was among 18 inmates who were punished. Only her husband died.
The woman said she was not convinced and strongly believed he was tortured. She asked why wardens had to assault an inmate who had always assisted with work at the prison and was soon to be released.
She, their three children and his parents had been looking forward to him coming home. Instead, he died in jail.
She called for justice over his death and urged all netizens to help share her post.
The popular Facebook page @queentogetherisone yesterday picked up and posted her story. The story drew strong criticism of prison officials from readers.
Corrections Department director-general Narat Sawettanan yesterday ordered an investigation into the man’s death.
Col Narat said he had received a report from Samut Prakan Central Prison chief Krit Wongdet that the dead man had been involved in the drug trade behind bars. The prison had investigated him, and then disciplined him.
The department would set up a committee to investigate whether the prison had overreacted, and whether this led to prisoner’s death, he said.
The prison chief would also be investigated. Torture was against department policy and was unacceptable, Col Narat said.
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