The conditions of two activists have worsened as they enter the 20th day of a hunger strike today.
Thammasat University Hospital last night said in a statement that the health of two young activists – Tantawan “Tawan” Tuatulanon and Orawan “Bam” Phuphong – have deteriorated.
The duo has refused to eat food since Jan. 16 to protest the pretrial detentions of critics of the monarchy, many of whom have languished in prison for months on end awaiting trial.
Tantawan, 21, is suffering from fatigue, nausea, bleeding gums, abdominal pain, and a dry mouth. She has also reportedly developed memory problems and a life-threatening diabetes complication that is causing her blood to become acidic, according to the statement.
Orawan, 23, is suffering from similar health conditions in addition to a clotting disorder, dizziness, and fatigued legs.
Both of them have only had a few sips of water and refuse to hydrate themselves with water infused with mineral salts or sugars that would help alleviate their conditions.
Their lawyer, Krisadang Nutcharat of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, said a hospital doctor requested that Tantawan and Orawan’s families visit them this morning.
Tantawan and Orawan were charged last year under the draconian royal insult law known as lese majeste for conducting an opinion poll about royal motorcades snarling traffic in the capital. Those convicted under the royal defamation law face up to 15 years in prison per offense.
They have been detained since Jan. 16, when they asked the Criminal Court to revoke their bail to call out the unusual use of pretrial detention against political activists; namely, critics of the monarchy.
The duo insist they continue their hunger strike until the authorities meet three demands: reform of the justice system, no more prosecutions of those exercising free expression, and – most unlikely of all – broad-based political support by every party for repealing Section 112 of the Penal Code, which codifies lese majeste, as well as Section 116, or sedition.
Hunger-striking Thai activists refuse treatment at prison hospital
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