Karen torture victim recovering after successful round of operations

Karen torture victim recovering after successful round of operations

The 12-year-old Karen child who was severely scarred after being enslaved and tortured for more than five years by a Thai couple has successfully completed her first round of operations.

Thanawat Sathit, the director of Thailand’s Kamphaengphet’s Children and Families Shelter, said Nong Air underwent plastic surgery to repair her left arm that was fused with her armpit after being doused with boiling water. Nong Air is now recuperating at a hospital in Bangkok.

“Nong Air has gone through about three operations – the wounds on her arm, neck and armpits have been treated and now she can move her arm again,” said Thanawat Sathit, adding that she still needs another surgery on her chest but will wait until she recovers.

“She has been at the hospital since 14 March and still has not been discharged.”

The shelter’s director said it will take time for her skin to heal but noted that the child looked more relaxed and happier than when she first arrived at the shelter.

Meanwhile, the couple, who are facing multiple charges including slavery, torture, forced labour and child trafficking, are still on the run after skipping bail in February.

Lieutenant colonel Suwitcha Nomjorn of Kamphaengphet police department’s special investigation unit said authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the suspects – identified as 35-year-old Natee Taengorn and 33-year-old Rattanakorn Piyaworatham.

“The warrant was issued about three months ago and we learnt that they had fled to Laos,” said Suwitcha Nomjorn.

“We have informed this to immigration offices at the border as well as authorities in Laos. We are investigating both human and financial resources to catch the suspects.”

The lieutenant colonel added that Piyaworatham’s mother had agreed to provided testimony for the case.

The Thai government has offered a THB 100,000 (USD$ 3,349) reward for anyone with information that leads to the arrests of the fugitives.

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