Detained protesters, leaders denied bail

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reports that the Courts have denied bail requests from 10 individuals held for participating in recent protests.  The courts contend that all ten are likely to violate the law and cause further disorder, if released.

A protester raises a 3 finger salute amidst smoke. (File Photo)

The decision leaves Anon Nampa, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, Sam Samat, Parit Chiwarak, Sirichai Natueng, Phromsorn Viradhammajari, Natchanon Pairot, Panupong Jadnok, Chatchai Kaedam and Panadda Sirimasakul in prolonged temporary detention.

Anon’s bail was rejected by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court, while Jatupat's was rejected by the Ratchadaphisek Criminal Court. The Thanyaburi Provincial Court turned down bail requests from the rest.

Only one protestor, Thanapat Kapeng, was granted bail.  The 18-year-old youth testified in court that he would not flee, tamper with evidence or commit any acts that might endanger the public. His bail was guaranteed by a parliamentarian from the Move Forward Party.

Defence lawyers argued that their clients were at risk of infection from Covid-19 while in prison. They also noted that the ten were only detained on the basis of the investigators accusations, not the court judgement and were unlikely to cause public disorder or contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

The lawyers also emphasised that the ten had been peacefully exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression and were not responsible for the violent acts of other protesters.

Jatupat and another member of the Thalufa group, Thawee Thiangwiset, were arrested after turning themselves in at the Thung Song Hong Police Station on Monday, 9 August. They were charged with violating the Emergency Decree, damaging public property, and taking part in an assembly of more than 10 people, causing a breach of public peace.

The charges related to an incident on 3 August, in which activists splashed paint in front of Thung Song Hong Police Station after being released from a night in detention.  They were initially detained on 2 August for protesting at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau to demand the return of a speaker truck seized by police at a ‘car mob’ rally on 1 August.

Thawee and was released after paying a 35,000 baht security. Jatupat was denied bail on the grounds that he faces charges for similar offences, has broken bail conditions which prohibit him from repeating offences, and is likely to flee or cause danger if released.

The detention of leaders and influential figures in the protest movement is occurring at a time of growing public dissatisfaction with the government for its handling of the Covid crisis. An increasing number of people have been joining the demonstrations in Bangkok, despite most ending with violent clashes between hard-core protesters and the police.

Anon turned himself in at the Pathumwan Police Station on 9 August after hearing that an arrest warrant had been issued against him on charges of royal defamation.  The charges stem from a speech he delivered on monarchy reform at a protest rally on 3 August.

Sam Samat was arrested during the 7 August protest at Din Daeng intersection. Parit, Sirichai and Promsorn turned themselves in at the National Police Headquarters on 8 August. Natchanon was arrested while travelling to turn himself in.

Thanapat, Panupong, Thatchapong and Panadda surrendered to the police on 9 August.

Parit, Sirichai, Promsorn, Natchanon, Thanapat, Panupong, Thatchapong and Panadda were charged with causing a crowd of more than 10 people to create a public disturbance when they led a group to protest the arrest of 9 demonstrators and the seizure of a truck by police at a Car Mob rally on 1 August.

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