A GROUP of protesters are continuing their demonstration in front of the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Road in conjunction with a hunger strike by two detained female activists who are neither eating nor drinking water with tonight (Jan. 21) being the third night but they have been taken to the Correctional Department’s hospital, Matichon newspaper said.
The Independent People’s Group protesters camped in front of the court, by led by Mr. Chokdee Rompruek, or Alek, a musician who fights for democracy, reiterated the three demands of the fasting activists, Tantawan Tuatulanond and Orawan Pupong, who are being detained at the Central Women Correctional Institution on lese majeste charges.
These demands are as follows:
– Reform the judicial process taking into account human rights principles and freedom of expression and not interfere with litigation;
– Stop prosecuting people for exercising their freedom of expression, assembling and voicing their political views:
– All political parties propose a policy to guarantee rights, liberties and political participation by cancelling Section 112, also known as the lese majeste law, and Section 116 of the Criminal Code.
The protesters have spread out mats and are eating and sleeping on the sidewalk in front of the court. Speeches are given with focus being on fighting till victory and this interspersed by singing songs and inviting people passing by to join their activities.
A monk, named Dao Din, said that these were the demands of those gathered there and while people might wonder why a monk was involved in this demonstration, this was out of mercy.
He added that all Buddhist monks in Thailand should feel compassion for the two fasting activists yet almost none had shown sympathy or voiced support for their demands.
The monk added that the general public too had paid too little attention to this situation.
Top: The two female activists pour red dye, representing blood, over their head and body at the start of their hunger strike, left, and monk Dao Din giving a speech at the protest.
Below and Front Page: Protesters camped in front of the Criminal Court. Photos: Matichon