13 German Embassy protesters indicted on lèse majesté charges

The public prosecutor decided yesterday (22 July) to indict 13 protesters facing lèse majesté and sedition charges for their involvement in the 26 October 2020 protest in front of the German Embassy in Bangkok.

8 of the 13 protesters at the Office of the Attorney General (Southern Bangkok office) yesterday morning (22 July). (Picture from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights)

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that 12 of the protesters reported to the Office of the Attorney General (Southern Bangkok office) yesterday morning (22 July) and were informed that the public prosecutor had decided to file a case against the protesters.

The remaining protester, activist Nawat Liangwattana, will be reporting to the public prosecutor today (23 July).

The lawyers requested bail using the positions of 7 academics and 3 MPs from the Move Forward Party (MFP) as security. The Bangkok South Criminal Court granted them bail with the condition that they must not commit another offense relating to the monarchy. They must also come to every court appointment and may not leave the country without permission.

The decision to indict the protesters came after the public prosecutor postponed their hearing 3 times. According to TLHR, this is the 33rd lèse majesté case in which the public prosecutor has ordered an indictment.

TLHR also reported that at least 111 people are now facing lèse majesté charges after the law began once again to be used against protesters involved in the pro-democracy demonstrations in November 2020.

The 13 protesters indicted are Ann (pseudonym), Nawat Liangwattana, Benja Apan, Athapol Buapat, Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon, Cholathit Chotsawat, Chanin Wongsri, Watcharakorn Chaikaew, Ravisara Eksgool, Suthini Jangpipatnawakit, Akkarapon Teeptaisong, Joseph (pseudonym), and Korakot Saengyenpan.

They face lèse majesté and sedition charges under Sections 112 and 116 of the Thai Criminal Code, as well as using a sound amplifier without permission under the Controlling Public Advertisement by Sound Amplifier Act for either reading a statement or giving speeches during the protest in front of the German Embassy in Bangkok on 26 October 2020, in which they submitted a petition calling for the German authorities to investigate King Vajiralongkorn’s use of power during his time in Germany.

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