Protesters throw eggs, paint demanding Thai activist’s release

BANGKOK: Hundreds of protesters hurled red paint, tomatoes and eggs at a Bangkok court yesterday, demanding the release of all political detainees, including an activist who was hospitalised after a hunger strike.

Student activist Parit Chiwarak - widely known by his nickname Penguin - has been held on remand since being charged in February under strict royal defamation laws. He has been denied bail repeatedly.

He faces more than a dozen charges for his role in protests last year against the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, which also called for reforms to the monarchy.

Yesterday, hundreds gathered in front of Bangkok's Criminal Court to demand Penguin's release - and that of other activists involved in the pro-democracy movement.

"We are here today to show that there is injustice," shouted a protest leader.

Demonstrators chanted "release the political prisoners" and waved a three-finger salute - a symbol of resistance for the pro-democracy movement.

They sloshed red paint all over the court's entrance, where they had plastered posters of the judge who protesters believed had denied Penguin's bail.

Protesters also hurled eggs and tomatoes into the compound as police stood guard with plastic riot shields.

By around 6pm, the group dispersed.

Penguin has lost more than 12kg since he began a hunger strike on March 16, and officials transferred him to hospital on Friday amid concerns that his health was deteriorating. - AFP