Bail sought for protest leader as health condition worsens

The lawyer for student-protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak will seek bail for the detained dissident on Thursday as his health condition worsens after 44 days of a hunger strike.

Penguin is currently jailed and awaiting trial. He is charged with violating the country’s lese majeste, or royal insult law, for calling for monarchy reform and also charged with insurrection for leading peaceful anti-government protests against the Prayut Chan-ocha government.

The student-leader has been on a 44 day hunger strike to protest his bail denial ahead of his trial.

Both his mother and his lawyer released statements to the public on Wednesday outlining his worsening condition due to the length of his strike. His mother said that Penguin was now unable to walk and that his body was beginning to fail.

She appealed to the public and the government to show compassion and release Penguin on bail.

According to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, lawyers representing Penguin will once again seek bail on Thursday and will ask that the dissident be released on compassionate grounds.

A social media campaign sprung up over night using the hashtag #saveเพนกวิน (#SavePenguin). As of Thursday morning, over 450,000 people have used the tag to raise awareness about Penguin’s condition.

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