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Bereaved mother demands prison death inquiry

Apr 24. 2019
File photo : Ronnarong Kaewpet
File photo : Ronnarong Kaewpet
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By The Nation

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The mother of a 40-year-old man who died in a Si Sa Ket prison after being convicted of drink driving during Songkran festival has demanded a Justice Ministry inquiry.

Surin Kethom visited the Justice Ministry with her lawyer, Ronnarong Kaewpet, to submit a petition asking for justice for her son, Prompanya Kethom.

Prompanya was taken from the prison to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. His family was told that he was injured after tripping in the prison. The post mortem said his body was covered in bruises and his brain was swollen.

The Corrections Department’s deputy director general visited the prison and ordered the transfer of its chief, Somboon Puttachart.

Prompanya was jailed as he had no money to pay his fines and was allegedly beaten by other inmates in the overcrowded prison. Convicted drink drivers have to stay in jail for one night for every Bt500 of their fine they are unable to pay.

Ronnarong, the lawyer, said the family demanded that those responsible at the ministry should be held accountable. 

The family also asked the Justice Ministry to help pay the lawyer’s fees, Ronnarong said, adding the mother also asked for compensation from the ministry’s criminal victim compensation fund as she believed her son was the victim of unlawful death.

Prompanya was arrested during the Songkran festival during which thousands of drink drivers were detained. It caused prison overcrowding as a large number of those convicted could not afford the fines.

The family asked why the video of the incident had not been shown and why the department had already punished those involved.

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