Criminal Court grants bail to hunger-striking activist Tantawan

MONDAY, MAY 27, 2024

The Criminal Court has finally granted bail to young activist Tantawan “Tawan” Tuatulanon, who has been on hunger strike for months in protest against the Thai judicial system

She was granted reprieve 13 days after another activist Netiporn “Bung” Sanesangkhom died from cardiac arrest caused by spending more than 100 days on hunger strike. Netiporn was in jail for violating the draconian lese majeste law.

Meanwhile, in a social media post on Monday, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) said Tantawan had been granted temporary release after being held behind bars pending trial since February this year.

She was accused of breaching Article 116 of the Penal Code, the Computer Crimes Act as well as traffic laws and refusing to obey police orders.

Article 116 prohibits individuals from raising unrest and disaffection among people or causing citizens to transgress the laws of the country.

The 22-year-old was arrested for honking and trying to overtake a royal motorcade on February 8. She was later shown arguing with a police officer.

The court had denied her bail several times before relenting on Monday. Tantawan has been admitted to Thammasat University Hospital for treatment after being weakened by spending several months on hunger strike.

TLHR said Tantawan was released on a 100,000 baht bail guarantee and a condition that she wear an electronic monitoring device at all times, adding that it was checking to see whether her bail may be denied for other charges.

This is not the first time that Tantawan has been on hunger strike. Last year, she went hungry for over 50 days to demand bail for people behind bars on political charges.