24 May 2024

Amnesty International (AI) Thailand has asked the Thai Ministry of Justice to ease congestion in prisons quickly, by suspending the remanding of suspects into custody, to curb the spread of COVID-19 among detainees.

In an open letter, addressed to the Permanent Secretary of Justice and published yesterday, AI says at least seven political prisoners, including some who have already been released on bail, have contracted the disease.

They are Chukiat Saengwong, alias Justin, Anon Nampa, Panusaya “Rung”
Sithijirawattanakul, Tawat Sookprasert, Sakchai Tangjitsadutdee, Somkid Tosoi and Chaluay Aekkasak.

Ms. Panusaya, who was granted bail on May 6th, tested positive for the virus last night and is now being treated at Thammasat University Hospital.

635 people were charged in 301 political offence cases between last July and April, for their involvement in street protests, said AI, citing data from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR).

AI, however, praised the Thai government for having already freed many of them on bail, leaving 18 still being held on remand, pending hearings in the Criminal and Appeals courts.

Amnesty International Thailand, Justice Ministry, inmates, suspend, COVID-19 spread