A disturbing video has emerged on social media this morning in which an unidentified Thai “volunteer rescuer” can be seen beating a suspect in his hospital bed at Chonburi province’s Burapha University Hospital while police watch on.
In the clip, posted to numerous Thai Facebook pages, police officers can be seen looking around, as if for CCTV cameras, before sliding the thick, beige curtain shut.
Even before the curtain is fully closed, the “volunteer” can be seen raising his fist and violently slamming it downward onto the suspect. We counted at least nine such blows.
The Permanent Secretary for Defense of Meung Chonburi district, Prakasit Seuksongkram, this morning admitted to local reporters that the attack had taken place, pinning the blame on a volunteer who was enraged over injuries to a friend allegedly caused by the suspect, according to Workpoint.
The incident in question occurred at about midnight on Sunday, Aug. 18, when the 20-year-old suspect allegedly ran into 57-year-old volunteer official Kwanchai Changlek, who was helping direct traffic near a U-Turn on a bypass.
Kwanchai sustained severe injuries, including two broken legs and head wounds, after being hit with the motorcycle, reported Thairath.
The director of the hospital, Suriya Prongnamchai, told Coconuts Bangkok today that nurses near the incident “tried to stop the officials” but were unable to.
“There were only female nurses around at the time of the incident. Imagine if you were that woman standing nearby and many officers barged in. Would you dare to stop them? How would go about it, huh? You think you can fight them?” a clearly exasperated Suriya said.
The Facebook pages that posted the video, local news site News Chonburi among them, all said that the source of the footage requested to remain anonymous.
This is far from the first time stories regarding mistreatment of suspects in police custody have emerged in Thailand. Adem Karadag – one of the men who stands accused of bombing the Erawan Shrine four years ago – has repeatedly insisted that he was tortured into his confession.
This story is developing.
Find all episodes of The Coconuts Podcast