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Inmates set fire to buildings in Nakhon Ratchasima juvenile detention centre

By The Nation on Sunday

NAKHON RATCHASIMA

Published on December 7, 2008

A riot broke out at the Region 3 Juvenile Detention Centre in Nakhon Ratchasima late on Friday night when 461 inmates went on the rampage and set fire to the centre's buildings.

The riot took place at 11.10pm and reportedly stemmed from inmates' dissatisfaction with new director Tassanawilai Krainara's strictness.

http://www.nationmul...al_30090341.php

Since they would not let firemen in, the blazes could only be fought from outside. By 5.10am yesterday five buildings and two canteens were on fire, but officials could only watch helplessly.

The riot ended around 6am after 200 commandos and back-up officers with crowd-control equipment fired tear gas and shot into the air.

The 394 youths aged 15-21 still inside surrendered, but 67 had broken through the rear wall and absconded.

Thirty-four have been recaptured, said Nakhon Ratchasima deputy police chief Colonel Pongdej Prommichit, urging parents to help police find the rest or encourage them to return to custody.

Police also singled out some 200 inmates reported to have led the riot for interrogation and possible charges of arson and damage to government property.

Saraburi native Ae (not his real name), who was among the ringleaders, told police they had had enough of Tassanawalai's excessive strictness, rude remarks and lack of understanding. He said she had only allowed parental visits to three inmates at a time on the December 5 National Fathers' Day and not let them bring anything except clothes.

He urged Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection chief Thawatchai Thaikhiew to transfer Tassanawalai and to bring back previous director Surakit Angkurarat, who has been transferred to Rayong. Ae also accused some centre officials of abusing inmates.

Thawatchai yesterday told parents they would be held responsible for escapes and damage to the centre and that rioters would serve additional time, in a regular prison if over 18. He blamed misplaced anger at Tassanawalai's strictness as she tried to put the place in order.

Visitors smuggling in alcohol, cough syrup and cigarettes had prompted fighting, he said, conceding that Tassanawalai's response might have been rash. He said a committee would inspect the damage and mediate between inmates and warders, but he declined to say if he was considering transferring Tassanawalai.

Inmates at the facility had rioted before when they wanted to watch a live broadcast of the 1999 World Cup, and 24 boys dug a hole under the fence and escaped on October 27 this year.

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Guest Siam-Nilsson

Den kvinnliga fängelsechefen "Tassanawalai" tycks inte bära silkesvantar eller dalta med det unga småbuset.

Kanske väl tänkt, men det ser ut som att metoden har slagit bakut - vad vet jag?

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