Jail defends moving two activists at night

Jail defends moving two activists at night

Bangkok Remand Prison yesterday denied trying to unfairly remove two suspects linked to the anti-government Ratsadon group from their detention area, saying they had arrived from high-risk areas and needed to be quarantined in isolation units.

Arnon Nampa, a co-accused and key figure in the group, claimed prison officers tried to move Jatupat "Pai" Boonpattararaksa and Panupong "Mike" Jadnok from Zone 2 late at night and he feared for their safety.

Mr Arnon, who was already detained at Bangkok Remand Prison, was joined on Monday night by Mr Jatupat and Mr Panupong, following their transfer from Thon Buri Prison in Bang Bon district.

Krit Krasaethip, commander of Bangkok Remand Prison, said yesterday that under Covid-19 control measures, new arrivals were being quarantined in Zone 2's isolation units for 14 days.

In fact, he said, Mr Jatupat and Mr Panupong were transferred from Thon Buri Prison, which is in a high-risk Covid zone, so were required to have Covid-19 tests and be quarantined in Zone 2.

According to Mr Krit, the pair were to be moved from their quarantine room on the ground floor to another quarantine room on the second floor but refused to leave, so prison guards agreed not to move them to avoid problems.

Mr Arnon related the story via a letter to the court, claiming prison officers tried to take Mr Jatupat and Mr Panupong from their cell at 9.30pm on Monday night but both refused, saying it was highly irregular.

The officers returned later and wanted to take Mr Jatupat and Mr Panupong for Covid-19 testing but they again refused out of concerns for their safety.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday he had been told of the incident and had ordered prison authorities to install more surveillance cameras to monitor cell block activities.

The Criminal Court yesterday asked Mr Krit and Mr Arnon to testify today about the incident.

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