Court temporarily releases three red shirts

Three red shirts detained under the Emergency Decree have been temporarily released by the courts on bail provided by the Ministry of Justice, while two other red shirts have been denied bail, despite the Ministry’s assurances to their families.

On 9 Nov, the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court temporarily released three red shirts on bail guaranteed by the Justice Fund of the Rights and Liberty Protection Department under the Ministry of Justice.

Theeradech Sangkhathat, 44, and Sommai Inthanakha, 32, were bailed for 60,000 baht each, while Bunyarit Sodakham, 24, was bailed for 200,000 baht as he was charged with carrying a gun.

Surachai Phringphong, 19, and Krishna Thanchayapong were not released as their cases were on appeal, and the court ordered the Justice Fund to request bail from the Appeals Court.

Surachai’s parents Rabiab and Suriporn, who had come from Nakhon Ratchasima in the hope of bringing their son back home, fainted upon learning that their son was denied bail.

Later, Suriporn told reporters that she and her husband earned a living by selling boiled peanuts and yam in villages.  Recently, after the floods which had submerged their house almost to the roof had receded, they were informed by Ministry of Justice officials that their son would be bailed out.  They were very happy.  The officials told them that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had approved the bail. 

However, the court denied bail on the grounds that their son had carried weapons including slingshots, glass marbles, a lighter, and gasoline.  Her son insisted to her that he had not had these things.

The Justice Fund promised her that it would resubmit its request for her son’s release. 

The Phuea Thai Party had twice failed to get bail for him.

She said that she and her husband would return, no matter how many more times, as they pitied their son and wanted him to get out as soon as possible.  They had borrowed 500 baht from their neighbour to make this trip.

Rabiab said that Surachai was his youngest son and was ordained as a novice for 8 years.  Surachai had come to stay at Chaimongkhol Temple in Bangkok, and had disrobed just a few days before he was arrested.

The Social Move group recorded a conversation with the two red shirts on its blog.  They said that they were beaten by soldiers and forced to confess to possessing weapons which the soldiers displayed in a pile in front of the press. 

A student activist who also came to greet Surachai and Krishna upon their anticipated release said that the detainees’ family members were under a lot of stress, because officials of the Ministry of Justice had raised their expectations by telling them that the PM and Minister of Justice had been very concerned about their cases and had approved bail. 

The officials also set a condition that the detainees, once released, had to stay away from politics, had to report to the authorities every 30 days for one year, and had to write letters to thank the PM, the student said, adding that the family members had consulted him on how to write these letters.



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