Mothers of Bombing Suspects Barred From Visits

Forensic police inspect a shop attacked by a firebomb in Pratunam neighborhood of Bangkok on Aug. 3, 2019.

BANGKOK — The families of two men detained for alleged connections to a series of bomb attacks in Bangkok last week said Monday they have been barred from visiting the pair.

Narathiwat natives Wildan Maha and Luai Sae-ngae have been held by police in Yala province since their arrest on Friday early morning. Their families say police never contacted them about the arrests, and they only found out about the whereabouts of the two detained men from media reports. They have expressed worries about the safety of Wildan and Luai.

“I’d like to ask the officials to take care of my son and his friend,” Luai’s mother told reporters today. “I want him to have fair proceedings. Whether he’s right or wrong, let the law have the final say. That is all I ask for.”

Read: Police Source Says Two Southern Men ‘Confessed’ to Bangkok Bombings

She spoke at the police detention center where officers denied the families’ requests to visit Wildan, 29, and Luai, 23. Police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen said the two men are being held under a counter-insurgency law which authorizes security officers to detain individuals for up to seven days for questioning.

Families are free to visit after the period of seven days expires, Krissana added.

Luai’s mother said she has been unable to see or contact her son for the past four days. The police never informed her Luai was arrested, where he is being held, or the reason for his detention, she said.

Wildan and Luai were arrested in Chumphon province on Friday morning on suspicion of throwing explosives at the Royal Thai Police headquarters, an incident that coincided with a string of other bombings around the capital city that day. One person was injured in the attacks, according to the police.

The government has yet to identify the motive behind the bombings.

In a statement released yesterday, the police said the investigation into Wildan and Luai will be fair and in accordance with the law.

“I’d like to urge the public to follow the news through the authorities and state agencies to avoid any possible inaccuracies,” the police said.

Media reports previously quoted a police source as saying that Wildan and Luai confessed to planting the bomb as revenge for military operations in the southern border region, where separatists have been battling Thai security forces for over a decade.

But the police and government soon disputed the report. Luai’s mother said today her son was a graduate student who recently finished his studies. She also said Luai told her he was visiting Bangkok to sightsee.