Phuket life; Re-enactment of crimes

Last week when Ruben flew back to Holland, he was almost not able to reach the airport. Luckily his taxi driver knew there was ‘some’ disturbance on the main road, and took all these small back roads to finally reach the airport in time. It would have been really bad if he had missed his flight due to a traffic jam…

Once Ruben texted me that he arrived safely on the airport and not to worry, I started to look online to see what was going on. Quickly I found this article “Thousands stuck in megajam” (http://www.thephuketnews.com/thousands-stuck-in-megajam-phuket-expat-45854.php). Well in most cities, this would be a normal after work traffic-jam, but in Phuket this does not happen so often. So I kept on reading, as there must have been a special reason for this. And there was…
An angry local mob was protesting about the arrest of two teen rapists. The 17-year-old twins were arrested and confessed to attacking a 25-year-old pregnant woman. The mob had come together to demand an apology of the twins to the parents of the victim, and to force the police to bring the teens to re-enact the crime in front of the public. The police had already decided against the re-enactment because they were afraid the locals would attack the twins…

It’s not un-common in Thailand that a criminal suspect is put in front of the media to re-enact their alleged crimes. This will happen even before judges have found them guilty, and the trial has even started. So every week we will see police officers together with suspects on the front page of the newspaper, website or Facebook page of the paper.  The human rights community sees this as a questionable practice, but the police say they are doing what’s best for Thai justice and the practice will continue.

I am not sure whether this is the best way of doing justice, especially as the suspect has not been convicted of the crime yet. In many cases it does give a great headline. Just take a look at the Phuket Gazette Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/phuketgazette) and you will see hundreds of photos of suspects surrounded by police, once they have been arrested.
In this case something really terrible has happened, and the twins have already confessed to the crime. However, I am very happy that the police did not approve for the re-enactment. I think there would be a huge riot during if it would be done; if they are able to get a mob together to block off the main road in Phuket, then for sure they can get a mob together for other reasons as well…

What do you think about the re-enactment of crimes before someone is convicted? Should it be done, or should one wait until the person is found guilty?  

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