Three human rights lecturers used their academic posts to guarantee the bail requests of ‘The Wolf Bride’ theatre activists charged with lèse majesté. Nevertheless, the court denied the bail requests.
This is the fifth time that the two have submitted bail requests.
On Tuesday, Phawinee Chumsri, a lawyer representing Patiwat S. and Pornthip M. (aka. Bank and Golf), two theatre activists charged with lèse majesté for taking part in a political stage play called ‘The Wolf Bride’, submitted bail requests on behalf of her clients with three academics from Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University, as guarantors.
The three academics do not want to be named in the media due to privacy concerns.
Phawinee added that three academics who volunteered to be the guarantors of the case know Patiwat and Pornthip personally because they had organized activities and worked with the defendants before.
One of the academics, who asked not to be named, told Prachatai that they decided to be guarantors of the defendants because the two should receive the right to bail, which is the basic rights of all defendants, especially since both are young.
She added that she was quite concerned after the group of academics were bullied on Facebook after the news was widely shared among royalists.
Patiwat and Pornthip were indicted by the public prosecutor last Friday after being held in custody since early August. The deposition and preliminary hearing is scheduled for 29 December.
Patiwat is accused of starring in a stage play “The Wolf Bride” centred around a fictional monarch in the role of a Brahmin advisor, while Pornthip was also accused of being involved with the play.
The play was performed in October 2013 at Thammasat University, Bangkok, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 14 October popular uprising. The play was organized by former members of the now-defunct Prakai Fai Karn Lakorn.
It is very rare that lèse majesté suspects are released on bail due to the fact that cases concerning the revered Thai monarchy are viewed by the authorities as related to national security.
“For many years Thai courts have regularly refused bail to people awaiting trial for ‘insulting the monarchy’,” Brad Adams, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, said. “The systematic denial of bail for lèse majesté suspects seems intended to punish them before they even go to trial.”