Soldier detained for beating drug suspects

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has announced that a soldier will be detained for 15 days for physically abusing suspected drug users on Ko Lan, Chonburi Province. 
 
The announcement came after a video clip of a soldier beating three drug suspects went viral on Facebook on 15 August. Other men in uniform watch the beating. The video has generated over a million views and almost 500 shares at press time.
 
According to RTA spokesperson Col Sirichan Ngathong, the soldiers in the video were from the junta’s local ‘peacekeeping’ unit. The three individuals beaten in the video had been arrested for testing positive in a urine drug test. 
 
In addition to placing the soldier in detention, the RTA has withdrawn the peacekeeping unit from Ko Lan. Sirichan added that an apology has been sent to the victim’s relatives. 
 
“The RTA wishes to express its sorrow for the recent incident, even though it was the improper action of just one soldier, and wants to affirm that the RTA has no policy that allows troops to exercise their authority beyond legal limits in any operation within their mission,” stated Sirichan.
 
The RTA has however not confirmed whether the soldier will face criminal punishment.
 
 
 
 
Officers beat the suspect (Photo from แหม่มโพธิ์ดำ Facebook page)