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Penguin | Political Activist back in Prison

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  • Penguin | Political Activist back in Prison

    Political activist “Penguin” back in prison ahead of large protest tomorrow

    Pro-democracy activist Parit Chiwarak, aka “Penguin”, has been re-arrested and imprisoned ahead of an important rally tomorrow. The Bangkok Post reports that Parit was detained on his arrival at Royal Thai Police headquarters yesterday following a summons issued on August 2. Parit faces charges related to graffiti that appeared outside a police office in the central province of Pathum Thani. It’s understood the activist had appeared at the station to demand the release of fellow activists.

    On Parit’s arrival at RTP headquarters yesterday, he was presented with an arrest warrant. Police also arrested 14 other activists, who face charges related to the violence at Saturday’s anti-government protest in Bangkok. The Bangkok Post reports that an arrest warrant was also issued for Natchanon Pairoj from the Ratsadon pro-democracy group.

    According to the Metropolitan Police Bureau, 4 of the 14 suspects arrested have been charged with arson and causing injury to police officers. Piya Tawichai from the MPB says 3 officers were injured during a clash at the Din Daeng intersection in the capital on Saturday, with 1 officer still in intensive care after he was allegedly shot in the back of his neck.

    Police investigator Barami Wong-inta says activists also set fire to a police truck on Saturday and damaged a police booth. The Bangkok Post reports that the Free Youth protest group posted about the truck fire on Instagram the same day.

    “The people have fought back burning up a police car!”
    However, following criticism of the action, the post was later edited.

    “It remains unknown who burned it.”
    Meanwhile, Parit has urged supporters to join tomorrow’s rally at Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong intersection and to continue the protest action in his absence.

  • #2
    Parit’s bail request rejected, after activist allegedly contracted Covid-19 in prison

    A bail application for jailed political activist Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin”, has been rejected, with his lawyer saying he has also tested positive for Covid-19. 7 other activists had their bail requests rejected at the same hearing. All 8 have been charged over an anti-government protest at police headquarters in the central province of Pathum Thani on August 2.

    According to a Bangkok Post report, Parit’s lawyer, Krisadang Nujaras, says Thanyaburi Court ruled that there was no reason to grant bail. In addition to Parit’s diagnosis, 2 other jailed activists, Promsorn Weerathamcharee and Sirichai Nathuang, have tested positive for Covid-19.

    Krisadang says he believes they caught the infection while in prison as all 3 tested negative prior to being jailed. He adds that a request to transfer the 3 patients to Thammasat University Hospital for treatment has been turned down. The Bangkok Post reports that Thawatchai Chaiwat from the Corrections Department says the 3 are receiving close medical attention and have been examined by doctors at the Medical Correctional Hospital.

    He says that for 3 days, Parit had a headache and body aches, and coughed phlegm. The activist suffers from asthma and reportedly weighs over 90 kilograms. He is categorised as a “code yellow” patient, without severe symptoms. According to Thawatchai, his breathing, oxygen levels, and other vital signs are all normal and he has been treated with Favipiravir and provided with asthma relief inhalers and other medication.

    His fellow activists and patients, Sirichai and Promsorn, have also received Favipiravir and have been categorised as “code green” with mild symptoms.