Activist Penguin transferred to hospital due to hunger strike

PHOTO: Pro-democracy protest leader Parit Chiwarak, aka "Penguin" via Facebook

On the 46th day of his hunger strike in jail, activist student Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak has been checked into Ramathibodi Hospital to treat his weakening body. He was transferred from Bangkok Remand Prison after signs that his body was having trouble recovering from the food deprivation. After dropping 12.5 kilogrammes from 107 to 94.5 kg due to his hunger strike, officials feared his body was not absorbing enough mineral saltwater.

Fearing he could go into shock, doctors removed his saline drip and transferred him to the hospital. When his condition improves, he will be transferred back to his prison sentence.

Rumours circulated yesterday about Penguin and fellow jailed protester Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, also on a hunger strike, and Corrections Department officials dispelled them saying the student activists were not in danger. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights released a statement on Twitter saying prison staff said blood was found in Penguin’s stool, so he will receive parenteral nutrition and an endoscopy in the hospital.

Penguin and Rung have been held with 6 other student protestors for 52 days, and Penguin began the hunger strike that has now landed him in the hospital on March 16th in protest of the prisoners being denied bail. They had requested and been denied bail for a ninth time yesterday. His lawyer has filed a tenth request today, and the court is expected to respond on Thursday.

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Penguin’s grief-stricken mother is protesting as well, begging for attention to her son’s plight outside the court. A small gathering of protesters supported her as she called for justice for her son that she said committed no crime. To further call attention to the situation, she shaved her head outside the Criminal Court.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Bangkok NewsThailand Protest News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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