A British man was said to be on ‘the brink of death’ as he completed day 40 of his hunger strike over a complaint against Marriott Hotels.
John Shepherd, 62, has been embroiled in a battle with the Marriott hotel chain since 2008 after a car park was built next to his apartment in Bangkok.
Shepherd said in his most recent video: “I have very little if any body fat remaining and this is likely to be my final, fond farewell.”
He says that if he passes away during the hunger strike Marriott will have “allowed him to die”.
The former school teacher, who previously worked for Harrow International School in Bangkok, is now living in east London where he is refusing food.
He was arrested but later released, by police for defamation after writing letters to local newspapers in 2012 to complain about the sewage and the unplanned parking area.
He claims he lost his apartment in Bangkok because he decided not to return, fearing that Thai police would action a new arrest warrant against him.
Shepherd has reportedly demanded £3 million in damages from Marriott in compensation over alleged harassment which the company strenuously denies.
Shepherd said in a video: “If I do pass away, possibly the first-ever hunger strike death in protest at corporate wrongdoing, Marriott will have knowingly and callously watched and allowed me to die without stepping in.”
Minor International was the company which started construction of the St Regis Hotel in Bangkok in 2008.
Control of the operation was then handed over to Starwood, a global hotel operator that later merged with Marriott.
Marriot says the hotel is run by the chain but has different owners.
The CEO of Mariott, Arne Sorenson, has met with Shepherd and begged for a resolution ‘fair to both sides’.
But Shepherd is reportedly adamant that the company is harassing him – claims which they denied.
A Marriott spokesman denied to the Times they had started a police investigation into him.
“We have given Mr Shepherd numerous opportunities to substantiate his claims against us — which he hasn’t been able to do”, they told the newspaper.
The spokesman stressed that Minor Hotels, not the Mariott, were responsible for the construction on the St Regis Hotel – and that all complaints should be addressed by them.
Chiang Mai One News contacted Marriott Hotels for comment but were told that no one was available.
The Bishop of London, the Right Rev Dame Sarah Mullally, has urged compassion on the part of the hotel chain after Mr Shepherd’s plight came to light.
“Given his current situation and fragility I’m writing to urge you to consider reaching out once again to John,’ Dame Sarah wrote.
“It would surely be tragic if he ended his life because he saw no other solution.”