March 08, 2011
A Thai high-profile "Yellow Shirt" movement activist Veera Somkwamkid being jailed in Cambodia for the alleged espionage charge is in good health, although he has a cold and insomnia, a Cambodian prison official said Tuesday.
Mong Kimheng, the chief of Prey Sar prison where Veera was jailed, made the remarks following Thai media's report saying that Veera's relatives visited him on March 4 and found he has fallen ill and said the cell where he was being jailed was "in very poor conditions."
"He just caught a cold these days due to climate change, but he is in good health," said Mong Kimheng.
"We have provided him with special care, and our doctor has his health checked up twice every day," he said by telephone.
"Veera told our doctor that he has some headache and insomnia," he said. "It is normal that he has a headache and cannot sleep because he sleeps in prison and has to serve many years in prison. "
Mong Kimheng said the cell is in good condition. "Other cells, we house six inmates, but Veera's cell, we allow only two inmates, " he said.
"And for food, Thai embassy officials have brought him twice every day, he does eat food provided by the prison."
"The information on Veera's illness is just to call for sympathy and to catch special attention from the Thai government in order to seek for royal pardon," he said.
Veera Somkwamkid, one of the leaders of the People's Network against Corruption and a high-profile nationalist activist in the Thai Patriots Network, and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, were convicted by Cambodian court on Feb. 1 of illegal entry, unlawful entry into military base and espionage and were sentenced to eight years and six years in jail respectively.
The two decided not to appeal a Phnom Penh court's decision that found both of them guilty of illegal entry and espionage, but would seek a royal pardon instead.