The public prosecutor has yet to rule on whether to file a case against 18 people involved in the 19 – 20 September 2020 protests and has postponed the hearing to 8 March 2021; meanwhile four activists detained last week pending trial were once again denied bail.
Panupong Jadnok (left) and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (centre) walking from the Office of the Attorney General to the Criminal Court, as the lawyers will be posting bail for the four detained activists
18 people reported to the Office of the Attorney General on Ratchadapisek Road this morning (17 February). Of this number, three were charged with royal defamation under Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code: Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, Panupong Jadnok, and Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa. The others were charged with sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code and with holding an assembly of 10 or more people under Section 215 of the Criminal Code.
Jatupat did not report to the Office of the Attorney General, as he is currently participating in the People Go Network’s walk from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok to demand the release of Anon Nampa, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, Patiwat Saraiyaem and Parit Chiwarak, who were detained last week pending trial on Section 112 charges.
Chukiat “Justin” Sangwong, one of the activists who reported to the Office of the Attorney General today, told Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) that he is prepared for the public prosecutor to file charges against him and the possibility that he might be detained, and that while he does not feel particular pressured, he thinks that it is unfair for them to be facing charges.
Anon, Somyot, Patiwat, and Parit were also charged under the lèse majesté law for their speeches at the 19 – 20 September 2020 protest. The public prosecutor filed charges against them on 10 February, and they are now being detained pending trial. They were denied bail, meaning that they will be imprisoned indefinitely until the trial is over or unless they are granted bail.
TLHR reported that the four activists’ lawyer requested bail again today, but the request was once again denied on the ground that there is no reason to overrule the last court order. All four activists have been detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison for the past 9 days.
According to TLHR, at least 358 people are facing charges for involvement in the pro-democracy protests between 18 July 2020 – 16 February 2021.