Two detained monarchy reform activists have announced that they will be dry fasting to demand bail for every political prisoner, after there was no response to the demands they made when they revoked their own bail on Monday (16 January).
Orawan Phuphong (left) and Tantawan Tuatulanon (right) covered in red paint which they poured on themselves before going to court to file requests revoking their own bail. (Photo by Ginger Cat)
In a pre-recorded video released on her personal Facebook page, activist Tantawan Tuatulanon announced that she and fellow monarchy reform advocate Orawan Phuphong will go on a hunger strike to protest the detention of activists and protesters, after the three days they gave the court to release every political prisoner have lapsed.
Tantawan said in the video that, since the video has been posted, it means that detained activists and protesters have still not been granted bail. Since their demands were not met within the three-day time limit, she said that she and Orawan will not be eating or drinking and insisted that they will not request bail for themselves until their demands are met.
“We will never file for bail for ourselves until all of our friends are granted bail and these demands are met. We are ready to give up our lives for this fight,” Tantawan said.
On Monday (16 January), Tantawan and Orawan revoked their own bail to protest the denial of bail and detention of political prisoners and are now detained at the Women’s Central Correctional Institution. They demanded that every activist and protester detained for their involvement in the pro-democracy protests must be released within three days, and that if no response is made by 18 January, other activists, including those still detained, will be taking further action.
They called for reform of judicial system so that human rights and freedom of expression take priority, and so that courts are independent and protect people’s freedom, as well as for judges to make decisions without intervention from their own executives.
They also called for all charges against those exercising their freedoms of expression and assembly to be dropped, and for every political party to back the repeal of the royal defamation law and sedition law to guarantee people’s right, freedom, and political participation.
Tantawan was previously detained pending trial on a royal defamation charge in April 2022. She went on a hunger strike for 37 days before being granted bail on 27 May 2022.
According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), 16 people are now being held in detention pending trial or appeal on charges related to their participation in the pro-democracy movement, 8 of them on royal defamation charges.
Firework was lit in front of the Bangkok Remand Prison after the video was posted onto Tantawan's Facebook page. (Photo by Ginger Cat).
After the video was posted onto Tantawan's Facebook page, a series of firework was lit in front of the Bangkok Remand Prison at around 20.45 last night (18 January).
A lawyer who visited Tantawan and Orawan today (19 January) said that the two activists have been refusing food and drink since yesterday evening, and that they are both fatigued and nauseous. The lawyer said they asked Tantawan if the activists would at least drink water, but both she and Orawan refused and insisted that they do not want to be bailed out unless all other political prisoners are released.