Two hunger strikers still conscious, very weak

Two hunger strikers still conscious, very weak

Tantawan "Tawan" Tuatulanon, left, and Orawan "Bam" Phupong, right, outside the Criminal Court on Jan 16, when they declared they were withdrawing their request for release on bail in their lese majeste cases. Two days later they began their hunger strike. (Screenshot)

The two female students charged with lese majeste are still conscious but very weak after nearly three weeks on a hunger strike, Thammasat University Hospital reported on Monday.

Tantawan "Tawan" Tuatulanon, 21, and Orawan "Bam" Phupong, 23, remain in custody and have been on a hunger strike since Jan 18, demanding the release of all political prisoners. They are also calling  for the abolition of the lese majeste and sedition laws and other justice reforms.

The two are under the care of doctors at Thammasat University Hospital.

In a statement on its Facebook account early on Monday, the hospital said both were very weak and had stomachache. Important internal organs such as kidneys were starting to work more slowly.

However, their vital signs were still normal. They were able to communicate with doctors and visitors. They had some complications, but were not yet in critical condition.

If their condition entered a serious stage, doctors would take care of them in accordance with medical and professional standards.

According to the statement, Ms Tantawan still refused food, but sipped some water. She was still conscious but her response was slow. Her mouth was dry. She was bleeding from the gums. Her blood sugar level was 50 mg/dL and ketone serum level high at 6.05 mmol/L.

Ms Orawan, too, still refused food but sipped some water. She was still conscious, but weak. Her vital signs were normal, with a blood sugar level of 61 mg/dL and ketone serum level high at 6.06 mmol/L.

The parents of both students were at the hospital on Monday morning visiting their daughters, along with some of their friends, after learning that their condition had worsened.

Dr Paruhat Tor-udom, the hospital director, said a daily report on the two hunger strikers' condition would be posted on the hospital's website and Facebook page.

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