Mum wants 'Penguin' moved out of prison hospital

Mum wants 'Penguin' moved out of prison hospital

Sureerat Chiwarak, the mother of Thammasat University student Parit, and other activists outside the Justice Ministry on Monday, calling for the transfer of her Covid-infected son and another detained activist to a hospital outside the prison system. (Photo: Arnun chonmahatrakool)
Sureerat Chiwarak, the mother of Thammasat University student Parit, and other activists outside the Justice Ministry on Monday, calling for the transfer of her Covid-infected son and another detained activist to a hospital outside the prison system. (Photo: Arnun chonmahatrakool)

The mother of prominent activist Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak has asked Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin to transfer her son and another protester from a prison hospital to Thammasat University Hospital for treatment of Covid-19 and other ailments.

She said the treatment and care currently being given to her son was inadequate.

Mrs Sureerat made her request on Monday in a letter addressed to the minister and submitted at the ministry. She was accompanied by Krisdang Nutcharat of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. 

The letter was accepted by Wallop Nakbua, a deputy permanent secretary for justice.

Mr Parit has been arrested many times and faces multiple charges, including lese majeste, in connection with many anti-government demonstrations. He was held in custody pending prosecution, but eventually released on conditional bail.

However, bail was recently withdrawn after a court accepted a prosecution submission that he had broken bail conditions.

After being put back in prison, Mr Parit was diagnosed with Covid-19 and is being treated at the Medical Correctional Hospital.

Mrs Sureerat said she had visited her son twice, the last time on Aug 20.

Mr Parit appeared exhausted and had told her that doctors on one day gave him the wrong medicine and the following day forgot to give him any at all. He also complained about mosquitoes and was afraid of catching dengue fever, she said.

One night, Mr Parit had asthma problems, but nobody took care of him, she said.

She wanted her son transferred to Thammasat University Hospital in Khlong Luang district, Pathum Thani province. The hospital had agreed to accept him.

Mrs Sureerat said she first filed a request with the Medical Correctional Hospital on Aug 16 for her son's transfer. But a doctor there said he would like to keep him under observation for another week. A week later, she had still not received a reply, she said.

Mr Krisdang said another protester held in detention, Sirichai Nathueng, was also infected with Covid-19. Mr Parit and Mr Sirichai, both Thammasat University students, needed to be transferred to Thammasat Hospital as soon as possible, he added.

Mr Wallop, in receiving the letter, said the Medical Correctional Hospital of the Corrections Department is capable of providing treatment for the two suspects.

Their guardians do have the right to seek their transfer to another hospital, but the matter is for the doctors to decide, he said.

Thanat Thanakit-amnuay, alias Hi-So Nut, who lost the sight of one eye recently when injured during a protest at Daeng intersection, Panusya "Rung" Sittijirawatanakul, Somyos Prueksakasemsuk and some Thammasat University lecturers were also at  the Justice Ministry to give Mrs Sureerat moral support. 

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