Prison to investigate attempted suicides by detained activists

Activists dressed as prison inmates walk on a Bangkok skywalk to protest the justice system. Photo: United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration / Facebook
Activists dressed as prison inmates walk on a Bangkok skywalk to protest the justice system. Photo: United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration / Facebook

Corrections officials said Tuesday afternoon that they are investigating how “stressed” inmates sneaked pain killers and sharp objects into prison after three incarcerated activists attempted suicide. 

Ayut Sinthoppan, Department of Corrections director, said in a statement that he and his team were not being complacent and had begun investigating how three anti-monarchy activists, who have been held at the Bangkok Remand Prison pending trial, hurt themselves. All three survived. 

The three activists from the so-called Thalu Gas anti-monarchy are Baiboon Thaipanich, Puttipong Somboon, and Palapol Jitsuphap. Baiboon and Puttipong protested their ongoing detention without bail by slashing their wrists with metal can lids while Palapol swallowed dozens of paracetamol tablets – thought to be around 60. 

Palapol was taken to a hospital Sunday and is now safe. He was provided with a psychologist who he reportedly told he was heavily stressed about his family, including his pregnant wife. 

A June 28 statement by the Department of Corrections

The three were arrested June 17 after several protests in the Din Daeng area earlier this month, according to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

The statement from the Corrections Department also went on to say that Ayut assigned psychologists to counsel the inmates to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.

The suicide attempts by the three activists were initially revealed last night by lawyer and activist Arnon Nampa. He demanded that the Department of Corrections explain the incident. 

Currently, there are 11 activists from the Thalu Gas group in custody at the Bangkok Remand Prison. Among them is a man identified only as Theerawit, who has been on a hunger strike since June 18. The detained protesters are awaiting trials on multiple charges related to the Din Daeng protests. 

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