Surachai Danwatthananusorn has been hospitalized since 17 May with high blood pressure and a swollen prostate, resulting in fatigue and loss of appetite, said his wife Pranee.
She said that Surachai was sent to hospital the day after she attended a meeting held by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where she argued that the medical facilities at the Bangkok Remand Prison did not have doctors on duty on a regular basis as claimed by the Corrections Department.
Surachai was first sent to the Police Hospital, and later to the Corrections Department Hospital where he is now receiving medical care.
Doctors have decided to operate on his prostate gland, but he asked to have it postponed until after 28 May when he will hear the court verdict on one of his lèse majesté cases in which he has pleaded guilty.
Another lèse majesté convict Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, or Da Torpedo, has also been sent from the Central Women’s Correctional Institute to the Police Hospital for a medical examination in preparation for an operation to treat her molar problem, which has deteriorated and left her unable to open her mouth more than slightly.
She told Prachatai that she wanted to get bail in order to receive medical treatment outside, and did not want to have an operation and receive medical care while in the custody of the Corrections Department, because it was a major operation which the doctor said would need around a year’s recuperation.
She said that, if possible, she wanted to move to Laksi prison where political prisoners had been relocated.
Daranee lodged an appeal on her case on 12 April.
On 22 May, her brother Kittichai submitted a petition to the Director of the Central Women’s Correctional Institute, concerning Daranee’s disputes with some other inmates. Squabbles between them, such as throwing water bottles, have happened quite often, sometimes 4 times in two days, but these have been ignored by prison officials.
On 23 May, about 50 red shirts led by Songkhram Kijlertphairoj, owner of the red-shirt headquarters at Imperial World Mall in Bangkok's Lad Prao, visited political prisoners at the Laksi Prison and lèse majesté prisoners at the Bangkok Remand Prison to give them food. The group plan to make visits at both prisons every Wednesday at 11 am.