Thai Lawyers for Human Rights has reported that the Court of Appeal has allowed bail requests on behalf of Sirichai Natueng, Panadda Sirimasakul and Sam Samat, while rejecting those for 5 others detained for similar offences, citing a previous court ruling that they are likely to repeat violations of the law.
The three are to be released on the morning of 27 August after completing the bail contract and finding hospitals for Sirichai and Sam who have been infected with Covid-19.
The 5 remaining detainees charged with the same offences are Parit Chiwarak, Phromsorn Viradhammajari, Natchanon Pairot, Panupong Jadnok and Chatchai Kaedam. The two who remain in detention from other offences are Anon Nampa and Jatupat Boonpattararaksa.
Noraseth Nanongtoom, a lawyer from TLHR, said that Thammasat University (TU) has issued a letter saying that its student, Sirichai, may be admitted to the TU Hospital. The lawyer is still looking for a hospital to receive Sam and Panadda should go into quarantine.
As a lawyer, he is worried that the detainees have limited opportunity to mount a proper defence against the accusations as visits are conducted via teleconference under Covid-19 restrictions. This makes consultations more difficult when considering the already strict regulations that prevent lawyers from showing video clips to the detainees.
“[It’s] partly because of Covid. The [Covid] situation is quite widespread in the prisons. Many have now been infected. I’m worried if the treatment will be sufficiently effective. Secondly, many of them are students. When they are not allowed bail, I’m afraid that it will affect their education.
“Third, for those who work, like Anon Nampa, he has obligations as a lawyer in many cases. If the courts do not grant bail, it may affect his career.
“Lastly, for everyone who is now in detention, especially in the Covid-19 situation, I am concerned about finding evidence and witnesses to fight the charges, because visits are difficult and documents cannot easily be shared, also video clips,” said Noraseth.
The 10 protesters were detained as a result of 3 separate incidents. Parit, Sirichai, Promsorn, Natchanon, Panupong, Thatchapong and Panadda were charged with participating in 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.
Anon turned himself in to 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.
Jatupat was arrested after turning himself in at Thung Song Hong Police Station on Monday, 9 August. He was 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.
Sam Samat was arrested during the 7 August protest at Din Daeng intersection.