Man imprisoned on royal defamation charge denied bail three times

Prasong Khotsongkhram, 26, has been denied bail for the third time after being charged with royal defamation for three Facebook posts made in May and June 2021.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported on 12 July that Prasong was denied bail for the third time after his lawyer filed a bail request using 250,000 baht as security and asked the court to allow him release while wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet and for a supervisor to be appointed.

The Taling Chan Criminal Court ruled to deny him bail on the grounds that the charges are serious, that he might try to flee, and that there is no reason to change previous court orders. The order was signed by judge Atchara Surakhamhaeng, Deputy Chief Justice of the Taling Chan Criminal Court.

Prasong was arrested on 8 July and held at Bangplat Police Station for 1 night before being taken to court for a temporary detention request. The court ruled to detain Prasong, and did not grant him bail. He was also denied bail when his lawyer filed a bail request for the second time on 11 July.

Prasong has so far been detained for 8 days and is currently detained at the Thung Noi Temporary Prison, which is on the same premises as the Military Circle 11 Prison. The Department of Corrections said that due to the Covid-19 outbreaks, he will have to be in quarantine for 21 days, during which time his family and lawyer will not be allowed to visit him. After he has completed his quarantine period, he will be transferred to the Thonburi Remand Prison.

Left: Thitiwat Tanagaroon holding a portrait of the late King Bhumibol at a pro-democracy protest on 20 October 2020.
Right: Thitiwat is greeted by King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida as they leave the Grand Palace after paying tribute to King Chulalongkorn on 23 October 2020.

The complaint against Prasong was filed by Thitiwat Tanagaroon, a royalist protester who was praised by King Vajiralongkorn for raising a portrait of the late King Bhumibol at a pro-democracy protest. TLHR reported that Thitiwat filed the complaint against Prasong after seeing three public posts on Prasong’s Facebook profile, one of which was made on 21 May 2021 and the other two on 7 June 2021, which Thitiwat said were insulting to the King.

According to TLHR, 106 people are now facing royal defamation charges filed in 103 cases since November 2020. 49 cases resulted from complaints filed by members of the public, many of whom are members of royalist groups.

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