BANGKOK — In a Jan. 22 letter addressed to the president of the Uyghur American Association, suspected Bangkok bomber Adem Karadag alleges he was tortured and coerced into confessing a central role in the Aug. 17 attack which killed 20 people at the Erawan Shrine.
Police and junta officials have denied either suspect has been abused in any way and say there is sufficient material evidence linking them to the crime.
In his letter, Karadag wrote that officials made him dress up like the yellow-shirted man seen in security footage leaving the bomb in the shrine minutes before the blast. He said they gave him a yellow T-shirt, black trousers, sunglasses, arm bands and a wig to wear so that he would resemble a composite sketch issued after the attack.
Here’s a translation of his account from the original letter:
"After that the officers who told me to admit to being the person in the (CCTV) pictures, which were shown to me by the officers who kept saying that if I do not admit to being the man in the yellow shirt who set the bomb at the Erawan Shrine at Ratchaprasong intersection, I would be sent back to the government of China.
“I refused to admit anything because I did not do anything wrong and was not the man in the picture, so I was punched in my stomach several times by the officer who served as the English interpreter and threatened by saying they will kill me if I do not confess.
“Sometimes some of the officers would tell me that they will send me back to the Chinese authorities, and let loose a military dog to bark and threaten me at a close distance all the time.
“These threats and torture against me took place over a period of more than two hours, and they brought pictures to show me several times. And because I was afraid that I'd be further tortured or sent back to the Chinese authorities, and because I am well aware that Uighur Muslims who fled China and are forcibly returned to China would all be killed by the Chinese authorities, along with their relatives and family members who would also be tortured and hunted.
“I was tortured like that until almost 7am on the morning of the Sept. 22, 2015. Due to exhaustion and fear, I then told the officers that I’m the man in the yellow shirt who set the bomb at the Erawan Shrine. And the man wore grey at Lumpini Park, and the man in the blue shirt who set the bomb at the pier in accordance with the pictures shown; they were all me.
“The fact that I told the officers that I am the person in the pictures was because I wanted the officers to stop torturing me, and at that time I was suffering from severe stomach pain. Afterward, the officers brought me back to my detention room, and later at around 9am on Sept. 22, 2015, I told the officers who detained me in the room that I wished to see a medical doctor, but nobody contacted a medical doctor to examine my body.
“As a result I suffered from severe pain in my stomach and had to suffer this tortured state for a whole day. I could not eat anything beyond a piece of bread and milk.