Thai activists facing royal defamation charges end 50-day hunger strike

© Tanat Chayaphattharitthee, AFP

Two young Thai protesters facing royal defamation charges announced Saturday they were ending their marathon hunger strike following doctors' fears they could suffer organ failure.

Tantawan "Tawan" Tuatulanon, 21, and Orawan "Bam" Phupong, 23, began their hunger strike on January 18 to urge political parties to support the abolition of the kingdom's royal insult laws – among the harshest in the world.

Wednesday marked the 50th day of the young women's protest. They were freed from custody last month as their health declined.

"Tawan and Bam would like to inform the public that we have stopped the hunger strike to save our lives to continue fighting," Tawan said in a Facebook post on Saturday. "The medical staff are concerned our kidneys and other organs are affected by the long period without food and water."

The pair were rushed to Thammasat Hospital near Bangkok on March 3 amid fears they would not survive the night.

The ruling Pheu Thai party, together with its previous incarnations, has won every Thai election since 2001.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Debunking a Ukrainian MP's strange visit to Thailand
The rise of weed tourism: Is Thailand turning into the 'Amsterdam of Asia'?
Thailand's tigers: Is tourism sabotaging conservation efforts?