The denial of bail for Somyos Prueksakasemsuk is like a verdict in advance, even though the court has yet to determine whether the content in Red Power magazine is offensive or not as it has not yet been proved, said Suwit Lertkraimethi, member of the 24th June Democracy group, at a press conference on 4 May.
The arrest of Somyos on 30 April is clearly political persecution, as the arrest warrant was issued on 12 February, he said.
Somyos should be protected as a media worker, and media organizations should come out to protect him, as this concerns the freedom of the press, he said.
Sombat Boon-ngam-anong, leader of the Red Sunday group, said that the arrest was politically motivated to undermine the red-shirt movement.
He said that many were not aware that they were on the Department of Special Investigation’s list of people facing arrest. He had urged DSI Director General Tharit Phengdit to reveal the list, as it was the right of the public to know, but the agency had never responded.
‘From now on, we must not stop talking about Somyos so that this issue is kept alive”, Sombat said.
The 24th June Democracy group, which has been led by Somyos, will continue to publish Red Power magazine even without Somyos as the editor. Some academics have offered to help.
The group vows to fight on, to carry on what Somyos has done to achieve the ultimate goal, which is Democracy with the King as Head of State. And it will collect signatures for the campaign to repeal Article 112 at the red shirts’ gathering on 19 May.