Court bails man sentenced to 1 year in prison for graffiti

The Criminal Court granted bail to a punk musician after he was sentenced to a year in prison for spray-painting what looked like an anarchist symbol on the court’s name plate in Bangkok.

On Thursday, 16 July 2015, Pawinee Chumsri, a lawyer from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), representing Nattapon Kemngoen, aka Jayjay, a 22-year-old man sentenced to a year in prison for destroying public property and violating the Public Cleanliness Act, submitted a bail request for her client.

The bail request was submitted with a 100,000 baht certificate from an insurance company as surety. The lawyer reasoned that the defendant had pleaded guilty and has no intention to escape and that he has to take care of his grandparents.

The graffiti painted by Nattapon in late May

At 5 pm the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok granted bail to the suspect.

On Tuesday, 14 July 2015, the court sentenced Nattapon to 2 years in jail for painting the letter ‘A’ in a circle, resembling the symbol for anarchism, on the nameplate of the court in late May.

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’.

Nattapon is a university student and a musician in a punk-rock band called ‘Drunk All Day’. He recently wrote a song called ‘Narok Khon Jon’ (Hell of the Poor).