Protest leaders denied bail again, detained indefinitely

Four protest leaders currently in detention pending trial have been denied bail for a third time after spending the past 14 days at Bangkok Remand Prison.

From left: Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, Parit Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, and Patiwat Saraiyaem

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported on Monday (22 February) that the Criminal Court once again denied bail for Anon Nampa, Parit Chiwarak, Patiwat Saraiyaem, and Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, after lawyers from TLHR, along with former Thammasat University Rector Charnvit Kasetsiri and former Dean of the Faculty of Law at Thammasat University Panas Tassaneyanond, offered to post bail again using 400,000 baht in cash as security.

The four activists have been detained for the past 14 days pending trial on royal defamation and sedition charges relating to the 19 – 20 September 2020 protests. Parit is also charged with royal defamation for a speech given at the protest at the Democracy Monument on 14 November 2020.

The Court denied them bail on the same grounds as previous court orders because they are likely to repeat the offenses, and that there is no reason to change existing orders.

Being detained pending trial means they are detained indefinitely until the trial is over or until bail is granted.

TLHR also noted that the judge who isseed the order is Chanathip Muanpawong, who sentenced Ampon Tangnoppakul, or “Uncle SMS,” to 20 years in prison on a royal defamation charge under Section 112 in 2011, after Ampon was accused of sending messages to Somkiat Krongwattanasuk, who was at the time the secretary of then prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, which were deemed offensive to the King and Queen. 

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