TWO female activists who have been on a severe hunger strike since Jan. 18 were released from detention for one month this afternoon (Feb. 7) after the Director of Thammasat Hospital petitioned the court that their lives are in danger, Matichon newspaper said.
Upon being persuaded by their parents and lawyers last evening Tantawan “Tawan” Tuatulanond and Orawan “Bam” Pupong, who have still refused to drink water or eat food provided in prison or at the Thammasat Hospital since Jan. 18 in order get political detainees released on bail, accepted saline drip.
However today Thammasat Hospital’s Director informed the court that the two of them are now unfit for detention with their condition being critical as ketone level in blood had increased while the filtration efficiency of the kidneys greatly reduced.
In releasing them for a month Bangkok South Criminal Court said as their condition is now critical and there is a risk they could die they were being temporarily released for a month so that their family could visit them easily as Correctional Department rules do apply even in hospital.
Earlier the Lawyers for Human Rights Centre said they submitted an urgent appeal to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN WGAD) about the two hunger strikers.
The two of them, who are facing charges under Criminal Code Section 112, also known as the lese majeste law, had agreed to let this team of lawyers petition UN WGAD on their behalf.
In their urgent petition the lawyers mentioned that Tantawan was arrested on March 5, 2022 on lese majesty charges while live-streaming in front of the UN building in Bangkok. She faces charges under Section 112 of the Criminal Code and Sections 14 (2) and 14 (3) of the Computer Crime Act.
Orawan and seven friends as well as a minor under 18 years of age were arrested for conducting a poll on Feb. 8, 2022. They face charges under Sections 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code.
Although the two of them were granted bail, they asked for its revocation to go back to prison and fight for temporary freeing of all political detainees and did so on Jan. 16.
The lawyers stated that their arrest and detention is a violation under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Thailand is a party.
They also said that the prosecution and the deprivation of Tantawan and Orawan’s liberty is in violation of their rights to a fair trial, their right and freedom to express opinions, violates the principle of not discriminating on grounds of differing political viewpoints, and violates their human rights under Articles 14, 19 and 26 of this covenant.
At 6.30 p.m. last night the doctor taking care of the two activists informed their parents and lawyers that they probably would not make it through the night, Ms. Kuntika Nutcharat, or Sai, a lawyer from Kritsadang Nutcharat Accounting and Law Office said.
After being persuaded by their parents and lawyers to accept saline drip with this only being part of their treatment for almost an hour, the two of them finally agreed to the insertion of an IV line to prolong their life.
Top and Front Page: Tantawan Tuatulanond and Orawan Pupong with the UN logo overlaid on the above image. Credit: Matichon
First insert: Tantawan Tuatulanond
Second insert: Orawan Pupong.
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