Food for thought: Activist hospitalised after 11-day hunger strikeLegacy

Political activist Netiporn Sanesangkhom, aka Bung, was transferred from prison to the Correctional Hospital yesterday, following a hunger strike lasting 11 days, as confirmed by her legal representatives.

Suffering from symptoms including hepatitis and cystitis, Netiporn was too frail to walk, as stated by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights on their official account. Her confinement began at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution on January 26.

A prominent member of the staunch Thalu Wang protest group, Netiporn staunchly refused sustenance, medication, and medical aid since the evening of January 27. Her protest aims to spotlight the need for judicial reform and the cessation of imprisoning individuals due to political disparities.

Her prison term stemmed from a contempt of court charge dated January 26, linked to a demonstration that escalated into a confrontation with guards outside the Bangkok South Criminal Court on October 19 last year. This demonstration was staged to demonstrate solidarity with another activist sentenced for lese-majeste. Netiporn, concurrently facing a lese-majeste charge under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, had her bail revoked in connection to a separate protest held at the Ministry of Culture on August 6.

TLHR disclosed that the court referenced witness accounts alleging Netiporn defaced a flag representing Her Majesty the Queen with paint, thereby violating the bail condition imposed following her prior Section 112 conviction, which stipulated refraining from repeating the offence, reported Bangkok Post.

According to TLHR data up to December 31, 1,938 individuals faced prosecution for their political engagement and expression since the onset of the Free Youth protests in July 2020. Among them, at least 262 encountered lese-majeste charges under Section 112, while 138 were charged with sedition under Section 116. Notably, all nine Section 116 cases brought before the courts in December were dismissed. Presently, 26 individuals remain incarcerated in connection to ongoing political cases, according to TLHR.

In related news, the Pathumwan District Court handed down a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, to prominent political figures Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, Pannika Wanich, Pita Limjaroenrat and Pairatthachot Chanthakachorn along with four others, in connection with their involvement in a flash mob protest in December 2019. Each defendant was also fined 11,200 baht for violating public assembly laws and using loudspeakers without permission.

The story Food for thought: Activist hospitalised after 11-day hunger strike as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Puntid Tantivangphaisal