Local news

Two protest leaders bailed out, Penguin, Rung still on hunger strike

THE Criminal Court today (April 23) at 3 p.m. granted bail to two protest leader, Mr Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and Mr. Jarupat  Boonpattararaksa, or Phai Dao Din, detained under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, Siam Rath newspaper said.

In approving their request for provisional release the court forbade them from engaging in any activities detrimental to the monarchy nor travel overseas.

Meanwhile Mr. Nattawut Saikua,  leader of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (“Red Shirts”), was questioned about two other protest leaders who have been on a hunger strike in jail for weeks now at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) last evening.

Participating in the forum entitled “The Return of the Red Shirts and its Meaning for Thai Politics,” Nattawut said he does not think the hunger strike by Mr Parit Chiwarak, or Penguin, and Ms. Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, puts additional pressure on the government and the other authorities because it has dragged on for too long.

He added that he sent a message to Penguin through his mother to reconsider his hunger strike, which he started on March 13 in order to obtain bail, with Rung joining him later.

However Penguin insists on deciding for himself and he respects his decision.

“I understand and accept that the power to consider bail is an independent jurisdiction of the court. But from my direct experience, after being in prison three times from political battles, I found that the government’s stance is of no less important to the consideration of a bail request,” he said.

Nattawut further said that since this is what Penguin has decided the rest of us can only pray that the two of them remain safe until the day he either changes his mind or they regain freedom. 

Since the two protest leaders will not end their hunger strike as urged by him, he would now ask the government and those who have authority to tone down the fued.


Top: Somyot and Jarupat who were granted bail today. Photo: Siam Rath


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