Activists charged with burning royal arch granted bail

Three activists detained pending trial on charges relating to the burning of a royal ceremonial arch in front of Ratchawinit School have been granted bail after months in prison.

The three activists were released from Bangkok Remand Prison on Tuesday night (22 November) after they were granted bail. (Photo by Ginger Cat)

Pornchai Yuanyee, Sinburi Saenkla, and Micky (full name withheld) were accused of burning the royal ceremony arch during a protest on 19 September 2021. All three were charged with arson, destruction of property, and violation of the Emergency Decree. Pornchai and Micky were also charged with royal defamation. Sinburi was also accused of burning a traffic control box at the Nang Loeng intersection.

Before being granted bail, Pornchai had been detained for 139 days, Sinburi for 107 days, and Micky for 50 days. Pornchai was arrested on 7 July, while Micky was denied bail on 4 October when he was indicted. Sinburi was denied bail when he went to Nang Loeng Police Station on 8 August after learning that there was an arrest warrant out for him.

Following a bail hearing on 31 October, the Criminal Court issued a ruling on the three activists’ bail request on Tuesday (22 November). Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that initially, the Court denied them bail on the grounds that their guarantor has no relations with them, and their proposed supervisors did not own the money used to post bail.

iLaw reported that Pornchai’s wife and father-in-law, Sinburi’s older sister, and Micky’s mother went to the Criminal Court after the Court said that the activists’ relatives must come to post bail for them and agree to be their supervisor. They were subsequently granted bail on a security of 100,000 baht each, which came from each relative’s personal fund instead of from the Will of the People Fund, a bail fund for pro-democracy activists and protesters. Each supervisor also had to agree that the Court may immediately confiscate the security if the activists break their bail conditions. All three supervisors will also be held responsible if one of the activists break their bail conditions.

The three activists were also given the conditions that they must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and must not leave their residence between 20.00 and 6.00, they must not repeat their offense, commit violence against an official, or destroy public property, and they are also not allowed to leave the country.

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