Callous and savage

30 04 2021

While not unexpected, the report by Prachatai that the Criminal Court has again denied bail for seven activists detained on lese majeste charges is to be lamented as yet another demonstration that the judicial system is deeply flawed.

These political prisoners are Panupong Jadnok, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan, Arnon Nampa, Chukiat Saengwong and Parinya Cheewinkulpahtom.

Penguin and Rung

Clipped from The Nation

Parit has now been detained for more than 80 days. He remains on a partial hunger strike that began some 45 days ago to protest the injustice of the system and the denial of bail for detained activists.

Lawyer Kritsadang Nutcharat of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said:

…one of the reasons for requesting bail is concern over the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, because even the court is concerned that the virus will spread among court officials. He also said that there is no more reason to keep the activists in detention, and that it would be acceptable if the court set a condition related with their trial. He also mentioned that the court previously granted bail for activists Jatupat Boonpattaraksa and Somyot Pruksakasemsuk.

Kritsadang expressed considerable concern for Penguin and “also requested that the court allow Parit to be taken to Rama 9 Hospital for 30 days, because the hospital is better equipped than the Medical Correctional Institution…”.

The court demonstrated its inhumanity by dismissing the request. It is as though the courts take their orders from savage and vindictive higher-ups.

Kritsadang revealed that:

he visited Parit on 28 April and spoke to him through teleconference. During the visit, Parit told Kritsadang that he has not been able to sleep, his skin is dry, and that he suffers from nausea and fatigue. Blood was also found in his stools, but he has not been sent to the Medical Correctional Institution to have his condition assessed.

The court exhibited a callous disregard for the detainee’s health.

Meanwhile the “Department of Corrections has denied that Parit’s condition has worsened…”.

The ruling to deny bail was “signed by judge Tawan Rodcharoen. Judge Tawan delivered the verdict in the Joe Gordon lèse majesté case in 2011.” Joe had repeated bail requests denied. When he finally agreed to plead guilty and he was sentenced to 5 years.

The Bangkok Post reports that the Corrections Department has said that Parit is “physically well.” It quotes Department deputy director-general Thawatchai Chaiwat from Thursday, stating that “Parit could talk and was well and conscious. He was tired and had dry lips, but was not dizzy.” Thawatchai added that Panusaya who is also rejecting “food and took only drinking water, minerals, juice and milk,” is also “well, conscious, looked normal, talked understandably and was able to do her routines…”.

The lie in this is demonstrated. Parit is now hospitalized. The very same Corrections Department now states that Parit “was admitted over concerns he could go into shock if his condition worsened and require specialised care.”

TLHR warns that both Parit and Panusaya “are in deteriorating health…”.

Parit faces 20 lese majeste charges “which could result in a sentence of 300 years.” Meanwhile, “Panusaya faces nine cases under the law, which could lead to a 135-year sentence if convicted.”





More on Port Faiyen

28 04 2021

Port FaiyenThai Lawyers for Human Rights has more information on Port Faiyen, Parinya Cheewinpatomkul, a lese majeste political prisoner.

Listen to the Life Song of Port Faiyen, an Artist Who Uses Music and a Pen as a Weapon to Fight the Dictatorship” is based on an interview with his mother, father, and his best friend. It clarifies how sick he is and reveals that not even his parents are allowed to visit him. There is no word on how he is doing.





On Port Faiyen’s 112 case

19 04 2021

Readers may recall the #SaveFaiyen campaign. Faiyen was a band that fled to Laos and eventually received asylum in France.

One member was ill and decided not to travel to France and returned to Thailand. Port Faiyen (Parinya Cheewinpatomkul) is now among those arrested, charged with lese majeste, and refused bail. His case has received too little attention.

For his time in Laos, see this Facebook post.Port Faiyen

On 5 March 2021, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights reported that Port was arrested at his house and charged with lese majeste and under the Computer Crimes Act. The police had a warrant and seized mobile phones and notebooks.

Port stated that he is still ill but was refused bail and has been jailed since then. There is concern that his illnesses – including nerve inflammation, pancreatitis, diabetes – will worsen in jail.

More details are from this Facebook page. It says Port was arrested on 3 March for three Facebook posts from 2016.

His most famous song is “พ่อ” (Father) where he rejects the ideology that people should see the king as their father.

When he returned to Bangkok he deactivated his Facebook account, and underwent medical treatment. It took the authorities some time to track him down.