Letter From Bung, Why is standing up for oneself unusual in prison? 70 Days of Detention in Central Women’s Prison

This letter from Bung was included in the update from the lawyer’s notes from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, who online visited her on 11 July 2022 at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution in Bangkok.

Letter from Bung:

Today I have an account to share with people outside. On the morning of Saturday, 9 July 2022, when I was walking to drop off my clothes to be laundered and ironed, a warden, [name withheld], hit my right arm with a baton without telling me why. I was surprised and confused. I did not understand what happened. I maintain that I walked by normally and did not bump against or touch her in any way. I asked her why she hit me. The only answer I received, in a loud voice was, “[I am] an official.”

While I was asking her, fellow prisoners made sounds of dissatisfaction. It’s depresses me that hitting prisoners is normal in here. Why is standing up for oneself unusual in prison?

I don’t want words of apology. Those who can hit others with indifference can so do because they have no awareness of being in the wrong in the first place. What I want is an investigation into this incident as quickly as possible. Not only to protect my rights, but to protect the rights of my friends in the prison, too. I still have not received an answer from her as to why she hit me. Hitting prisoners must not be allowed to remain normalized.

As for our physical condition now, Bai Por has declined tremendously. She has no energy. Her feet and hands are numb. She has sharp pains in her abdomen and chest. She has difficulty breathing nearly all the time. I have stomach pain and cramps. I am faint and dizzy. My hands and feet are numb. But I can still keep my eyes open. Bai Por can barely open her eyes. 

Today I have more strength than her, and so I have to push myself to struggle to look after her because Bai Por repeated her refusal of treatment in the Corrections Hospital. Bai Por said that if anything happens, it should be held to be fault of the prison that delayed in sending her [out to another hospital] and the judicial process that denied her bail.

Thank you to everyone outside who has not forgotten those inside the prison.

Everything in this letter is the truth. It has not been distorted or embellished by anyone.

Bung Thaluwang

Central Women’s Correctional Institution in Bangkok

70 Days of Detention

40 Days on Hunger Strike

Read more:

Denial of Bail, Denial of Suffering: Southern Bangkok Criminal Court Dismisses Sixth Request for Bail for Bung and Bai Por

Letter From Bung-Bai Por, on hunger strike in Central Women’s Prison after Fifth Denial of Bail

Thailand: Deteriorating health and arbitrary detention of two pro-democracy activists