On January 3rd, 2024, Mr. Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, a former election commissioner, posted on Facebook regarding Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra’s case about receiving medical treatment at the Police General Hospital and alleged indiscriminate treatment for prisoners.
The Thai Department of Corrections officials gave an official statement regarding the case on January 6th, elucidating that in cases involving treatment exceeding 120 days and still undergoing proceedings, these actions are under the standard Thai governance guidelines.
The processes must be executed under laws, regulations, and work procedures with strict adherence, considering freedom rights as well as human rights principles said the Thai Department of Corrections.
Thus, time is required to carefully consider comprehensive information for decision-making, preventing harm to the government while prioritizing the health condition of the patient.
Regarding the release of prisoners for external medical treatment, the Thai Department of Corrections has proceeded per legal stipulations, according to them.
Even though the prisoners receive treatment outside confinement, they must still abide by the rules and regulations of the Department of Corrections strictly, similar to other prisoners, said officials.
Any actions taken must be authorized by the officials and are not exempt from any privileges. Therefore, the conduct of prisoners receiving treatment at external hospitals does not differ from being under confinement within the prison, claimed officials.
Activists continue to pressure the Thai Department of Corrections to allow them to visit Thaksin and determine independently if his medical conditions would prevent him from being in a normal prison and also to determine if he has any special privileges at the hospital. Meanwhile, the Department of Corrections have continued to refuse, saying this action would violate a medical patient’s right to privacy and violate human rights agreements on the conduct of those with health conditions.
The activists have stated that while they understand the concern around medical privacy this particular issue is about justice and equality for all prisoners and ensuring confidence and transparency in the Thai justice system, ensuring no prisoner, no matter how rich or connected, would have any special privileges or rights. The activists have said there would be no need to release specifics about any medical conditions, only for third party independent individuals to privately visit and transparently review the claims of the Thai Department of Corrections saying there is no favoritism and verifying that Thaksin is truly sick. They continue to push to visit Thaksin in the near future in what is building to be a potential major political issue.