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Ultra-royalist Bangkok doctor assaults 14 year old for smoking in his hospital

PHOTO: The doctor in 2020 during an ultra-royalist protest

A lawyer is requesting police to press charges against Maj Gen Dr. Rienthong Nanna, director of Mongkutwattana Hospital, after he admitted to hitting a 14 year old boy and forcing him to walk naked as punishment for smoking in the hospital.

Lawyer Ratchaphon Sirisakhon took the teenage boy and his mother, Kanlaya, to the Thung Song Hong police station to give statements about the incident.

The assault took place on Monday night at the private hospital in Bangkok.

The doctor had had earlier run-ins with the law.

But, in this case, the teenager was caught smoking in a restroom in the outpatient department at around 10:30 pm. Hospital staff confronted him, took his mobile phone, and demanded a 5,000 baht fine for his indiscretion. Dr. Rienthong then slapped the boy four times, and kicked him twice. The assault continued with the doctor’s knee hitting the boy’s left eye before ordering him to strip and walk naked out of the hospital.

The boy thensought help from a passerby to call his family for assistance. Lawyer Ratchaphon has asked police to investigate five charges against Dr. Rienthong, including physical assault causing mental harm, embezzlement, coercion, illegal detention and committing indecent acts.

He stated that he hadn’t been able to contact Dr. Rienthong as the doctor had refused any communication with the family or their lawyer.

The boy’s mother initially apologised for her son’s smoking but condemned the punishment as “intrusive and excessive”. She admitted that her son’s actions were wrong, but that Dr. Rienthong must also take responsibility for his excessive behaviour.

But the doctor kept his resolve and, well, dug a deeper hole.

He immediately announced an increase in the fine for smoking in the hospital from 5,000 to 500,000 baht, reaffirming his stance on maintaining a smoke-free and “wayward people-free” environment. He admitted to slapping and kicking the teenager and ordering him to strip, claiming it was to make the boy understand the consequences of his actions.

He then said that the boy’s belongings were still at the hospital and could be picked up “without paying a fine”.

Dr. Rienthong is already known for his controversial behaviour and ultra-royalist views

For example, he has a history of setting up the Rubbish Collection Organisation to track lese-majeste offenders and demanding social media access from job applicants.

In 2020, he ran a campaign at the hospital to purge the workplace of anyone “who does not share his beliefs, including patients and contractors“.

He boasted at the time… “Even though we have been facing criticism since 2013… the business has since flourished, tripling to 300 beds in one year”.

In the same year, the doctor sacked a surgeon at his hospital after learning she was among doctors who signed a statement condemning the Prayut government’s crackdown on demonstrators at Pathumwan intersection in Bangkok.

In 2016, he used his Facebook page to encourage Thais living in Paris to “hunt down a Thai woman accused of sheltering a lese majeste suspect”.

The doctor was fined and given a suspended prison term last year for defaming a former MP.

For now, he has vowed to fight any legal action taken by the teenager’s family. A guilty conviction in this case could result in a custodial sentence.

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