Court denies bail for 20 activists

20 activists who were arrested on Tuesday afternoon (13 October) after they tried to set up camp at the Democracy Monument have been denied bail, while 1 activist who is a minor has been granted bail by the Juvenile Court.

A placard seen at the protest in front of the police headquarters on Tuesday night (13 October), which demanded the activists' release. 

After spending the night at the Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters in Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani, the activists were taken to court for a temporary detention request. Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa was taken to the Bangkok Criminal Court, while the 19 other adults were taken to Dusit Municipal Court.

One of the activists who is 17 years old was taken to the Central Juvenile and Family Court and was granted bail at 17.30 under the condition that he does not repeat the offense.

The activist said that he was choked and forced into a car, and that his wrists were tied. However, the court ruled that the arrest was lawful, as it was a flagrant offense.

At 18.00, the Bangkok Criminal Court ruled to temporarily detain Jatupat, and subsequently denied bail on the grounds that his actions were seditious and may cause unrest, and that he may repeat the same offense if released. The inquiry officers also objected to his bail request.

Dusit Municipal Court also ruled, after three hours of waiting, to detain the other 19 activists for six days, and at 21.20 denied their bail request, ruling that their actions while resisting arrest were violent and that they might cause unrest if released.

Jatupat and 16 other male activists have been taken to the Bangkok Remand Prison, while the 3 women activists have been taken to the Central Women Correctional Institution.

People gathering in front of the police headquarters on Tuesday night (13 October) in the rain to demand the activists' release.

The group was arrested on Tuesday afternoon (13 October) after they tried to set up camp at the Democracy Monument ahead of Wednesday’s mass protest, and were charged with causing traffic jams, committing public untidiness and harassing police authorities, among other charges. A protest took place following their arrest on the Pathumwan Skywalk next to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), before moving to the police headquarters to demand the activists’ release.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement following the activists’ arrest calling for the authorities to immediately drop all charges and unconditionally release them.

“The Democracy Monument arrests raise serious concerns that the government will impose even harsher repression of people’s fundamental freedoms in Thailand,” said Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. “Thailand’s international friends should call on the government to stop arresting peaceful protesters, listen to their views, and allow them to freely and safely express their visions for the future.”

HRW’s statement also noted that the police “kicked, punched, and threw some protesters to the ground” and prevented lawyers from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) from seeing the activists.

Protesters splashed paint onto the police headquarters sign at the protest on Tuesday night (13 October).

A team from TLHR went to visit the activists at the Bangkok Remand Prison and the Central Women Correctional Institution on Thursday afternoon (15 October). They reported that the group will be requesting bail again tomorrow (16 October).