An inquiry is being expedited into why an insurgent suspect was found unconscious while in custody at Ingkayutthaboriharn military camp in Pattani at the weekend, according to Pramote Prom-in, spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc)’s Region 4 Forward Command.
He said Fourth Army Region commander Pornsak Poolsawat has ordered the speeding up of the inquiry after news of the incident was reported by the media.
The commander said if soldiers were in the wrong, they would be subject to heavy disciplinary and criminal punishments.
Abdulloh Esormusor, 34, had been implicated in insurgent activities by a leading insurgent named Ibroheng Maseng who was arrested on Saturday.
Mr Ibroheng told authorities Mr Abdulloh assisted in acts of unrest in Sai Buri district in Pattani. Mr Ibroheng claimed Mr Abdulloh was in charge of logistical support and took part in several attacks in the province.
The authorities then arrested Mr Abdulloh at his home and took him to the military camp for questioning, prior to which he underwent a check-up which confirmed he was fit to be interviewed.
Shortly after questioning, the suspect became visibly distressed. He was then taken to a room to rest at around 9.30pm on Friday. When a guard checked on him six hours later, Mr Abdulloh was found unconscious in the room.
He was rushed to the camp hospital which provided first aid before referring him to Pattani General Hospital, according to Isoc’s Region 4 Forward Command.
It said a preliminary review of procedures found proper steps in treating the suspect and giving medical attention were followed. No evidence has emerged so far which shows the suspect's condition had resulted from soldiers' actions.
The Isoc unit added that the suspect had no bruises, citing a doctors' examination.
However, his brain exhibited swelling, which might have been caused by a lack of oxygen which occurred either when he passed out or during cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Tests showed Mr Abdulloh also had high level of blood sugar and white blood cell count.
Arun Prasertsuk, deputy director of Pattani Hospital, said on Monday afternoon the patient was still unresponsive.
“The brain shows no responses and the pupils are dilated but blood pressure and the pulse rate improved.
“We are providing palliative care. The brain lacked oxygen for a while, slowing down functions of other organs,” he said.
Asked about the cause of the lack of oxygen, Dr Arun said normally people couldn’t deliberately hold his breath or stop breathing this long but declined to speculate further.
The Region 4 forward command said it was open to southern-based human rights advocacy groups conducting an independent investigation into the incident.