Redshirt prisoners postpone hunger strike-The Nation

January 31, 2012

Surachai defers his hunger-strike plan

Pravit Rojanaphruk

The Nation: January 26, 2012


Pranee Danwattananusorn, wife of Red Siam group leader Surachai Danwattananusorn, who is in jail on lese majeste charges, said yesterday her husband had decided to postpone his hunger strike.

The strike was subject to a response from the Corrections Department chief, whom Surachai had sent a letter asking he be transferred to the newly opened detention centre for political prisoners in Bangkok’s Lak Si district. Pranee also named fellow red-shirt detainee Somyos Prueksakasemsuk in the request.

Surachai, 69, was initially planning to go on hunger strike yesterday.

“I personally don’t want him to go without food,” Pranee said. “But the situation is forcing him. His supporters don’t have time, and he has to help himself. You are exposed to all kinds of diseases being locked up with other inmates. Yet, if you go on hunger strike and fall sick, you do get taken to hospital, so at least that will be on the news.”

A verdict on Surachai’s charges is expected on February 28.

Meanwhile, Somyos’ son, Panithan, has announced he will go on hunger strike mid next month on behalf of his father, who was editor of the Red Power and Voice of Taksin magazines, to demand Somyos be transferred to the new detention centre. Panithan will also use his protest to push for an amendment to the lese majeste law.

Though Panithan could not be reached as of press time, key red-shirt member Jitra Kodchadej said he was planning to carry out his hunger strike at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

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