Lawyer: “If Amphon was granted bail, he would not have died.”

62-year-old Amphon Tangnoppakul or "Uncle SMS" who was sentenced to 20 years on lese majesté offence last November passed away this morning. He was suffering from stomach pain and sent to prison's infirmary unit last Friday, according to his lawyer, Ms. Poonsuk Poonsukcharoen. Bail request has been applied eight times and all denied. “If Amphon’s right to temporary release was upheld, he could've gone to see the doctor and such a tragedy might not have happened” said Poonsuk.

Amphon, aka “Ah Kong”, was sent to jail last November after his being convicted to 20 years in prison for sending four offensive text messages to the phone belonging to personal secretary of former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. His case has drawn flaks from international human rights organizations which criticize the use of Section 112 of Thailand’s Penal Code for its harsh and unjustified punishment.

According to the lawyer, Amphon has been suffering from stomachache for months, but he was first transferred to hospital around noon last Friday and was admitted around 3.40 pm. He did not immediately receive diagnosis as the hospital lab was closed on weekend. His blood was taken for testing on Monday, but before the results were made known, he passed away around 9.10 am today.

"If Amphon was granted bail and could go see doctor regularly, such incident might not have happened" said the lawyer. Prior to this, Amphon has just had operation for oral cancer.

In early April, after being turned down almost ten times in bail request, he decided to withdraw his appeals motion and seek a royal pardon.  

Corrections Department’s Director-general, Pol. Col. Suchart Wong-anantachai told Prachatai that the investigation committee will be conduct autopsy on Amphon's death, consisting of officers from Corrections Department, Attorney-General office, local inquiry officials and forensic medicine from the Police Hospital.  

"I simply have no idea about the cause of his death. But I wonder why an old man like Ah Kong has to endure such an ordeal in jail like this" said Ms. Rosmalin Tangnoppakul, Amphon's wife, as she was retrieving Amphon's body at Bangkok Remand Prison early today.

Those who are accused or convicted of lese majesté in Thailand are often denied of right to temporary release. Most recent cases such as Red Siam leader Surachai Danwattananusorn, Thai-American Joe Gordon and red-shirt magazine editor Somyot Prueksakasemsuk were denied bails at least five times, while the court reasoned that lese majesté cases are risky to the national security and carry high punishment.

Wife and daughter of Amphon "Ah Kong" weeping after hearing the news at Bangkok Remand Prison

"I simply have no idea about

"I simply have no idea about the cause of his death ... "

The cause of Amphon's death was the hardening of the Royalists' hearts.

Nothing is cheaper than the lives of ordinary Thais to a True-Thai Royalist.

It seems pretty clear by now the HM King Bhumipol is 'OK' with the Inquisition that's been carried out in his name since the coup of 2006. The scales have fallen from my eyes. I had believed his public relations machine ...

A Manager Online quipper

A Manager Online quipper mentioned that Dr. Pornthip should be brought in on the death. I now agree, but it should be as part of an investigating committee for charging officials - and callous higher officials - with murder.

So you need a royalist

So you need a royalist pathologist to confirm that the poor soul is really dead?

indicates people dressed in

indicates people dressed in black gathering in front of Criminal Court.

Thank you for sharing this

Thank you for sharing this news, Khun Suluck.

But let me share my idea about the topic?

I guess that this topic was meant about something that was not happened in the past? If so, this sentence structure is not parallel. Should it be "If Ampon "had been" granted bail, he would not have died"? --> These actions were not happened in the past = He died because he was not granted bail.

To show that something is opposite to the truth in the past, If-Clause pattern is If + past perfect, would have + V3.

And it can be used like this as well : "If Ampon had been granted bail (in the past), he would not die (now)."?

I'm sorry that my English skill is not that good, but I'm brave enough to comment on yours.

Anyway, if I misunderstand your meaning, please feel free to let me know. It would be highly appreciated (so I will learn from you).

Thank you (again) krab.

Dear "We are watching" -

Dear "We are watching" - เรามองท่านอยู่ :

As a former [American] English teacher, allow me to comment on the English question...
Your own "I guess that this topic was meant about something that was not happened in the past?" is incorrect. It likely should have read "I guess that this topic was meant to be about something that should not have happened in the past." And no question mark. Your point about parallel grammatical construction was technically [perhaps not in convention] valid enough, and I know that Thais, usually poor in spoken English, just love to hover around grammar to make a point while they find it uncomfortable to recognize exceptions and other grammatical constructions that appear a bit unusual but in fact are often not incorrect.
Writing the sentence with simple past tense "was" and then connecting a "would not have died" (future conditional present tense - as he is dead) brings up the whole question about use of "was" vs. as you indicate, versus "had been." Then you mis-construct, once again, grammar by saying "These actions were not happened in the past = He died because he was not granted bail." This last sentence should be, "These actions did not happen...."
As to "was" vs. "had been" ...Try - If OJ Simpson was guilty he would have been found guilty." Or. If yesterday was Sunday, I would have been in church. Or, If I were to die in prison, I would not have been able to be here today.
There is another question here, perhaps as well, of "was" vs. "were." That is, the indicative vs. subjunctive moods. And this kind of grammar is out of the day to day range of most Americans, although Brits probably have a better grasp. In Ah Kong's case, we can either use wishful thinking, subjunctive, with "were," or phrase the sentences in a manner that indicates more of a what-if or hypothetical yet might be true scenario - indicative. See several online references, including for more detailed citations.
In summary, “If Ampon was granted bail, he would not have died.”...seems to hold together just fine. I think that average Americans, certainly, would argue you are getting too technical. Two grammarians can probably argue down to the wire and conclude that you "are probably" correct. But in the end, then, the entire matter becomes one of grammar and not the event itself.

Noted. Thank you so much for

Noted. Thank you so much for making your time to explain me krab.

I've learned a lot from your comment, you're my teacher already :). I've realized even more that there's a lot to do to be a fluent English speaker. I'll keep improving myself!

Oh, I forgot to admire you,

Oh, I forgot to admire you, Mr Anderson. You're so cool that you can read Thai?!..I was surprised!!

Joe Hill wrote to Big Bill

Joe Hill wrote to Big Bill Haywood just before he was executed in Utah by firing-squad :

"Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize... "

Well, remembering Amphon and his family and sharing their sorrow and pain is not time wasted, in my opinion, but time well and compassionately spent.

But the second ... Joe's last ... point remains.

Amphon has been murdered by The Inquisition but many, at least 10 we can easily name, yet remain alive in prison and call out to be freed.

  1. Ampol Tangnopakul - served a life term.
    Repeatedly denied bail to see a doctor Amphon died in prison, 8 May 2012
  2. Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul - serving 15 years,
  3. Wanchai Saetan - serving 15 years,
  4. Tanthawut Taweewarodomkul - serving 13 years
  5. Surachai Danwatthananusorn - serving 7.5 years,
  6. Nat Sattayapornpisut - serving 4.5 years,
  7. Suriyan Kokpuey - serving 3 years and 15 days,
  8. Warawut Thanangkorn (or Suchart Nakbangsai) - serving 3 years,
  9. Sathian Rattanawong - serving 3 years,
  10. Joe Gordon - serving 2.5 years, and
  11. Somyos Pruksakasemsuk - yet unconvicted, 1 year 9 days served, as of 9 May.