Protester dies during rally for release of political detainees


ONE OF the protesters participating in Talufah activist group’s rally and submission of a new petition to the Criminal Court calling for the release of all political activists died during the activity, Matichon newspaper said this afternoon (Jan. 29).

Mr. Anon Nampha, a human rights lawyer, said Uncle Phairoj, or Mr. Phairoj Chotisriphanporn, died in front of the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek road after lawyers had gone in to submit the bail petition,

He had joined the “Submit, Stop Detention” demonstration that had travelled by Skytrain from  Siam to Ratchayothin station then joined another group of activists in front of Major Ratchayothin cinema and marched to the court.

Some eyewitnesses said that Uncle Pairoj fainted and fell with his head hitting the footpath in front of the court. He was given first aid and rushed to hospital but did not survive.

However another demonstrator said after the morning’s activity ended Uncle Phairoj sat down and rested at a bus stop in front of the court. He noticed that he gradually lowered his head until it hit the ground. 

The demonstrator thought he might have fallen asleep but when he checked he found that he was unconscious. He then took him in his car to Rajavithi Hospital where he later died. His family has been contacted.

Today’s demonstration was led by Mr. Jarupat  Boonpattararaksa, or Phai Dao Din, who said it is being held in support of Ms. Tantawan Tuatulanond and Ms. Orawan Pupong, who are staging a severe hunger strike at the Central Women Correctional Institution’s prison by not only denying meals but drinking water as well, and their relatives and lawyers so that they do not feel isolated.

“We hope that there will be talks or release of political activists. After submitting bail petition the Thalufah group will read out a statement on its demands then return to the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre at Pathumwan intersection to wait for the court decision expected this evening,

“Once it is known we will announce our next steps,” he said.

The demonstrators had carried sunflowers and placards with some displaying photos of imprisoned political activists including Tantawan and Orawan during their trip from Siam to Ratchayothin station.


Top: Uncle Phairoj being helped after fainting at the bus stop in front of the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek road and later dying in the hospital.

Insert, below and Front Page: Thalufah demonstrators carry sunflowers and placards during their trip from Siam to Ratchayothin station. All photos: Matichon

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