Three inmates hospitalised after Naratihiwat prison riot

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NARATHIWAT, Aug 12 — Three inmates injured in Thursday’s Narathiwat prison riot were sent to Naradhiwasrajnagarindra Hospital for treatment, as the standoff between inmates and prison warders continued for the second day on Friday.

Narathiwat Governor Thanon Vejjakornkanon reportedly contacted the hospital to transfer the three prisoners to hospital for treatment and asked the doctors to closely monitor their conditions.

However, there was no confirmation whether they were injured by prison staff or fellow inmates, but one report said they were wounded by rubber bullets.

The turmoil erupted on Thursday (Aug 11) when prison officials searched for drugs and other contraband items. Some 15 inmates were dissatisfied with the search for illegal items and led the other prisoners to attack the officials during the search.

Prison authorities confiscated 346 methamphetamine pills, 45 Alprazolam pills, and 91 mobile phones, along with battery chargers and earphones, four watches, numerous scissors, cutters, sharpened iron bars, an apparent drug trade list, bank account books, and drug use paraphernalia.

Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, a deputy permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, Department of Corrections Director-General Chartchai Suthiklom, former director of Narathiwat’s prison Boontham Kamlungkue and prominent human rights activist Angkhana Neelapaijit met to discuss ways to end the standoff.

Several rounds of negotiations took place but failed to reach a solution as a force of over 300 police, military and other officials were deployed around the prison compound.

Mr Chartchai said that the urgent problem to be addressed was the cramped area of the prison as there were more than 1,000 inmates in a prison that was built to accept only 500-600 inmates.

Some inmates may be moved to nearby prisons, he said.