Activist's father pleads for bail as hunger strike continues

Activist's father pleads for bail as hunger strike continues

Sommai Tuatulanon, father of detained activist Tantawan Tuatulanon (Photo supplied)
Sommai Tuatulanon, father of detained activist Tantawan Tuatulanon (Photo supplied)

The father of activist Tantawan Tuatulanon has urged the court to reconsider granting bail to his daughter and her friend, who are both on hunger strike, saying that the case is under investigation and has not yet been prosecuted.

The activist’s father, Sommai Tuatulanon, accompanied by her lawyer, Kritsadang Nujarus of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), on Monday submitted a handwritten petition to the Criminal Court after it denied the bail for Ms Tantawan, 22, and her friend, Natthanon “Frank” Chaimahabut, 23 on Sunday.

The letter demanded the court be responsible for both activists’ lives, saying that both are still considered innocent as no legal sentencing has been made.

Mr Sommai asked who would be responsible if the two activists died during the detention as the court refused to grant them a temporary release. 

Ms Tantawan and Mr Natthanon currently remain in police custody while receiving hospital treatment for their condition caused by a lack of sufficient nourishment.

They have been charged over an alleged royal motorcade protest on Feb 4 in Bangkok with charges including violating Section 116 of the Criminal Code, Computer Crime Act, the Traffic Act and insulting officers on duty.

Mr Sommai on Saturday requested bail, which was denied by the Criminal Court that said both detainees are being closely monitored and taken care of by medical teams.

Mr Sommai said that his daughter and her friend were just students who were unable to interfere with any evidence gathering, and if they wanted to escape, they would have already done so.   

The lawyer, Mr Kritsadang, said that no prosecution has been conducted yet due to the ongoing investigation process by Din Daeng Station, which is dealing with five more witnesses.

Mr Kritsadang said both detainees are now in a critical state due to malnourishment, with Ms Tantawan being sent to Thammasat University Hospital while Mr Natthanon is now at the Medical Correctional Hospital.

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