At a police station in Manchakhiri, in the southern part of Khon Kaen province in northeastern Thailand, a 42-year-old suspect was found dead in his cell. His family had requested police intervention after he was arrested following a drunken disturbance.

The incident highlighted concerns about how people with a history of mental health and substance abuse problems are treated in detention.

It was reported today that the district commissioner has appointed a security colleague to conduct an autopsy in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service, the hospital medical team and detectives.
The deceased, who was not named, suffered from a history of mental illness and drug dependency, which resulted in unpredictable behaviour requiring police intervention.

Two days earlier, on 3 February, at approximately 1:20 pm, police were informed of the aggressive behaviour of the suspect at his family home, where he was alleged to have injured family members and damaged property. The family had asked the police to take him to a doctor to assess his condition and provide the necessary treatment.

Following his arrest, the suspect was examined by doctors in Manchakhiri Hospital, who noted that he was still irritable despite his history of psychiatric treatment and drug use. He was given medication to control his erratic behaviour, but the suspect remained out of control.

The district officer then requested that he be detained to ensure his and others’ safety and to facilitate further psychiatric treatment and legal proceedings, KhaoSod reported.

Tragically, at 15:10 on 4 February, the suspect took his own life by hanging himself in his cell. Following an autopsy, investigating officers from the Manchakhiri police station released the body to the family for traditional burial rites.

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress, please get in touch with the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline on 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline on 1323 ( Thai). If you are feeling lonely, stressed or depressed, talk to a friend or family member during this time.

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