11 July 2024

The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) will try to seek bail for anti-establishment Ratsadon protest leader Panupong Jadnok, alias “Mike Rayong”, today (Thursday), so that he can be treated for his COVID-19 infection at a hospital outside Bangkok Remand Prison, where he is being held on lèse majesté and sedition charges.

Lawyer Noraseth Nanongtoom said in his Facebook post today he had just learned that Panupong is infected with the disease and is concerned that he might develop serious complications, because he has suffered from asthma for 6-7 years.

He said he hopes the Criminal Court will hold a hearing via teleconference to consider his bail application, after the court earlier rejected a proposal for an online hearing.

The human rights lawyer also said that Panupong’s mother is very concerned about the health of her son, due to his extended detention, compounded by his COVID-19 infection.

‘”This is very depressing indeed and Mike’s fate is now at the discretion of the court today,” said Mr. Noraseth.

Seven other protest leaders and followers, including Anon Nampa and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, who revealed yesterday she also contracted the disease in prison, have already been granted conditional bail.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin is due to hold a press conference this afternoon about COVID-19 infections in prisons and the actions being taken to deal with the problem.

Yesterday, the Corrections Department disclosed that 2,835 inmates have been found to be infected with the disease during active screening. These include 1,795 cases in Bangkok Remand Prison and 1,040 in the Central Women’s Correctional Institution, the two main facilities holding detainees pending trial or the conclusion of investigations by the police or prosecutors.