Thai family demands answers after prisoner suicide

The family of a Thai prisoner who tragically committed suicide on February 4 condemned the lack of action by officers at Manchakhiri Police Station in the Isaan province of Khon Kaen and demanded an explanation from the police regarding their handling of the situation.

The family of Mong, a 42-year-old Thai man, sought police assistance on February 3 following his violent outburst. Mong had attacked family members and caused damage to property in his home, which was attributed to his history of drug use and psychiatric symptoms.

Officers transported Mong to the hospital for medical evaluation and subsequent treatment to manage his condition, but unfortunately, his behaviour did not improve. Despite efforts, Mong continued to display signs of aggression.

Consequently, both the officers and his family concurred that he should be temporarily detained at Manchakhiri Police Station.

Officers planned to transfer Mong to Khonkaen Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital on February 5 but Mong committed suicide in the police station’s prison on February 4. CCTV footage showed that he hanged himself from the jail bar with the rope belt from his trousers.

After hearing the tragic news, Mong’s family expressed their disappointment saying he would never have taken his life if officers paid attention to him. Mong’s 64 year old aunt, Lamyai, stated that her nephew may have been a drug addict and an alcoholic but he was the family’s breadwinner.

Bad attitude

Lamyai added that what made her disappointed the most was one police officer’s attitude. He was allegedly watching sports on TV instead of doing his job and watching the prisoners.

“I was watching a boxing match and had no time to look after anyone.”

The Superintendent of the Manchakhiri Police Station, Phichai Nakhandee, emphasised that officers performed their duties as usual and often checked on Mong. Phichai said the police station already set up a committee to investigate the case to prevent this from happening in the future.

The Commander of the Khon Kaen Provincial Police, Anuwat Suwannabhum, reported that officers carried out their duties as usual but no one was able to monitor the prisoner for 24 hours. He promised that Mong’s family would receive compensation and support where appropriate.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai), or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai). Please also contact your friends or relatives at this time if you have feelings of loneliness, stress, or depression. Seek help.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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