Man given one year in jail for graffiti resembling anarchist symbol

The Thai Criminal Court sentenced a man to two years’ imprisonment for spray-painting what looked like an anarchist symbol on the court’s name plate in Bangkok, but the jail term was halved.

The Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road on Tuesday morning, 14 July 2015, sentenced Nattapon Kemngoen, aka Jayjay, a 22-year-old man accused of the painting letter ‘A’ in a circle, resembling the symbol for anarchism, on the nameplate of the court, to two years in jail for destroying public property and violating the Public Cleanliness Act.

Nattapon Kemngoen, aka. Jayjay

The jail term was halved to a year because the suspect pleaded guilty. However, the court did not suspend the sentence.

During the trial in May, Nattapon said that his action was not motivated by politics, but only because he wanted to call for justice for his friend who was shot by a military officer while riding a motorcycle in northern Bangkok in early February. The military officer has been arrested, but there has been no further progress on the case.

In court, he said that the letter ‘A’ was not meant as an anarchist symbol, but was first letter of the name of a foreign music band, ‘Anti-Flag’.

In May, the defendant had to remain in detention in Bangkok Remand Prison for a night because the court demanded 90,000 baht (about 2,660 USD) as security for bail, and the defendant could not find enough money in time.

The graffiti painted by Nattapon in late May  

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