Local news

Detained protest leader catches Covid, others at risk

A DETAINED People’s Party protest leader, Mr. Chukiat Saengwong, or Justin, has got infected with coronavirus and he was sharing a cell with Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, who has been on hunger strike since March 13, and two other leaders of the group, Sanook.com quoted Penguin’s mother as saying this afternoon (April 24).

The other two leaders at risk of getting infected are Mr. Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan, a popular singer whose stage name is Ammy the Bottom Blues, and Mr. Jarupat  Boonpattararaksa, or Phai Dao Din, who was just freed on bail yesterday.

Penguin’s mother, Mrs. Sureerat Chivarak, said she immediately called officials upon getting the news of coronavirus spreading in the cell because she was worried about her son’s health. Not only was he on hunger strike in order to get bail upon being detained on charges of violating Section 112 of the Criminal  Code, known as the lese majeste law, he already had an underlying lung condition.

Mr. Krisada Nuttajarat, a lawyer at the Lawyers for Human Rights Centre, said upon getting the news of Covid infection spreading in the cell he immediately called Phai Dao Din and was told he was on his way to get a test.

Reporters of this news website also called Phai Dao Din who confirmed he was in the process of getting tested.

Mr Ayut Sinthophan, director-general of the Corrections Department, said he got the news this morning and was waiting for confirmation from the prison hospital. The other detained leaders in the same cell are to be tested sometime today.

Meanwhile the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek was quickly disinfected upon news that Phai Dao Din, who attended a hearing yesterday and was granted bail, could be infected.

All those present at the hearing have been quarantined.


 Top: Justin at a protest late last year. Thai headline says, “Justin catches Covid.

Home Page: The Criminal Court sign with Justin’s photo inset. Thai headline says, “Officials at risk through Justin quarantined.” Photos: Sanook.com


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