Another activist detained pending trial on royal defamation charge

Student activist Wanwalee Thammasattaya has been detained pending trial on a royal defamation charge relating to a protest on 6 December 2020.

Wanwalee giving a speech demanding the release of detained activists during a protest in front of the Bangkok Remand Prison on 12 February 2021. 

On Tuesday (27 April), the public prosecutor filed a case against Wanwalee and activist Chukiat “Justin” Saengwong in a royal defamation charge relating to speeches given during a protest at Wongwian Yai on 6 December 2020.

Thanakorn (last name withheld), 17, is also facing charges in the same case, but as he is a minor, his case is being processed by the Central Juvenile and Family Court. He will have to report to the prosecutor on 24 May 2021 to hear whether the prosecutor will file a case against him.

Meanwhile, Chukiat is currently being detained pending trial on another Section 112 charge. He has been in prison since 23 March.

The complaints against them was filed by Chakrapong Klinkaew, leader of the royalist group People Protecting the Institution.

The Thonburi Criminal Court ordered Wanwalee to be detained pending trial, and denied her request for bail with a security of 200,000 baht on the ground that the plaintiff objected to granting her bail and that she is likely to flee, since she is facing several counts on the same charge.

Wanwalee is facing 2 other counts under Section 112 for a speech given at a protest in front of the Siam Commercial Bank headquarters on 25 November 2020 and for posting a picture of a protest banner containing a message about the monarchy on her Facebook page on 21 November 2020.

Wanwalee is being detained at the Thonburi Women Correctional Institution, making her the 17th person to be detained pending trial in cases relating to political expression.

Of these 17 people, 10 are being detained pending trial on a Section 112 charge. Other than Wanwalee and Chukiat, Parit Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Chaiamorn “Ammy” Kaewwiboonpan, Parinya “Fort” Cheewinkulpatom, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, Panupong Jadnok, Piyarat Chongthep, and Phromsorn Weerathamjaree are currently in detention.

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