Military court finds 3 men guilty in peaceful protests against coup

 

The Bangkok Military Court on Thursday sentenced three peaceful anti-coup protesters to six months’ imprisonment and fines of 10,000 baht, but with the jail terms suspended.

Because the three defendants pleaded guilty, the court decided to halve the sentences to three months and a fine of 5,000 baht each and suspended the jail terms for two years. 

Woraphon Vichasut, Nattawut Nuchanarot, and Sumet Virojchaiyan took part in anti-coup protests in late May 2014.

All three were charged for defying martial law which prohibits public assemblies of more than five people. 

Woraphon took part in an anti-coup activity of “eating McDonald's against the coup” at the fast-food restaurant in Bangkok’s shopping district of Ratchaprasong Intersection on 25 May. He was arrested and detained for seven days without charge, the maximum length of detention allowed by martial law. 

 

The soldiers controled the area in fron of Amarin Plaza to suppress the anti-coup protesters in Ratchaprasong

 

Nattawut protested on 31 May in front of a McDonald's restaurant in Pathumwan District, carrying a sign saying “Election Only”. He was also arrested and detained for seven days.

Sumet was found guilty of inciting approximately 100 people in front of the Fortune Town shopping complex on Bangkok’s Rama IX Road to oppose the coup. 

All of them were granted bailed after their seven-day detention before the military court hearing today.

This, however, is not the case for Panmanee Chuchao and Sombat Komaiphan, two other anti-coup defendants, who were tried on Thursday.

On 28 May Panmanee released air from the tyre of a military vehicle at the Victory Monument, and Sombat Komaiphan spray-painted military vehicles.

Besides being charged with defying the junta’s prohibition against protests, the two were also charged with intentionally causing damage to military property and harming military personnel. 

The two confessed that they defied the junta’s order and caused damage to military property. However, they denied harming military officers at the time of their arrest.

The military court scheduled the next witness hearing on 26 November.    

 

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