Police deny charges laid against held activist

Police deny charges laid against held activist

No charges have been pressed against a political activist sent to a psychiatric hospital in connection with a possible lese majeste crime earlier this month, according to Khon Kaen's police chief.

The Prachatai website reported that activist Tiwagorn Withiton, 47, who posted pictures of himself wearing a T-shirt with a message relating to the constitutional monarchy, was still at a hospital in Khon Kaen.

Poj Maj Gen Putthipong Musikul said "It was a medical issue and he was being treated accordingly," Prachatai quoted him as saying.

Dr Natthakorn Champathong, director of Khon Kaen Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital, said doctors still have him under observation and have yet to come to a conclusion on Mr Tiwakorn's mental condition.

There is a time frame to consider, according to the law on mental health. The doctors will look at whether his mental condition responds to treatment during this time, the director said.

He said Mr Tiwagorn has responded well and relatives can visit him freely just like other patients.

Kiattiphum Wongrajit, director-general of the Public Mental Health Department, said the admission of a person to a psychiatric hospital can be done voluntarily, with the consent of family, or by a court order. He said Mr Tiwagorn's case was voluntary.

However, Thongrian Sopha, Mr Tiwagorn's mother, said officials turned up at his home on July 9 to arrest him.

She said although she was some distance away her son appeared to resist being arrested before being bundled into a hospital vehicle.

Earlier, in a Facebook post he said that he had been questioned by hospital doctors as to his mental condition and he had told them he was not mad.


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