Military court bails embattled Rajabhakti activist

The Military Court has granted bail to a Rajabhakti activist who was taken from his sickbed and held at an unknown location for five days.

According Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the Military Court of Bangkok at 4:20 pm on Friday, 18 December 2015, granted 100,000 baht (about 2,763 USD) bail to Thanet Anantawong, a 25-year-old activist who was taken from his sickbed while waiting for a medical operation last week.

The arrest warrant for Thanet was approved on 12 December. He was then reportedly charged under Article 116 of the Criminal Code (the sedition law) and Article 112 (the lèse majesté law).  

The young activist was allegedly charged for sharing an infographic about Rajabhakti Park which implicates Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, and his wife in alleged corruption.

On Sunday, 13 December 2015, two officers in plainclothes reportedly arrested Thanet at his sickbed in Sirindhorn Hospital, Bangkok, as he awaited a medical operation to treat a hernia and an intestinal infection.

Earlier today, the Military Court issued an arrest warrant for Thanet as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 3/2015 which the security officers invoked to detain Thanet only allowed them to detain suspects for seven days with respect to crimes related to national security.

At the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), the police on Friday morning charged him under the sedition law and Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act on the importation of illegal computer content.

The police, however, did not file charges under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, as earlier alleged, and announced that he was not charged with sedition for sharing the Rajabhakti Park infographic.

The authorities did not elaborate on what grounds the activist was charged with sedition and under the Computer Crime Act.

Advertisements

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: service@prachatai.com, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”