Thailand: prisons use shackles, have "inhumane" crowding, says report

A new report on Thailand's prisons claim that they subject inmates to "inhumane" conditions and use shackles on inmates, according to the BBC.

The report by the Union for Civil Liberties, an independent rights group in Thailand, claims that the prisons clamp shackles on the ankles of long-term prisoners and never remove them, not even when the inmate is ill, throughout their sentence.

The constitutional court has ruled against the practice, and the United Nations has condemned it. However, the low ratio of inmates to wardens -- about 45 to one -- makes the practice hard to stamp out, BBC reports.

The rights group also claims the prisons have extreme crowding, forcing people to sleep in tight rows on the floor.

Danthong Breen, the chairman of the Union, told BBC prisons keep 200 women in a single cell.

"If one of them has to get up at night to go to the toilet, they all shift a bit and when she comes back the space is gone and she has to stand up all night," he said.

Meanwhile, an American citizen, Lerpong Wichaikhammat, was arrested by Thai authorities last week and charged with defaming the monarchy for a post on his blog from four years ago, Voice of America reports.

Insulting the Thai monarchy is a serious crime that carries up to 15 years imprisonment.

Lerpong allegedly put a link on his blog to the book, "The King Never Smiles," which is biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and is banned in Thailand.