Activist detained pending trial for splashing paint in front of police station

Songpol “Yajai” Sonthirak, an activist from the Thalufah group, has been detained pending trial on charges relating to an incident on 3 August 2021 when paint was splashed in front of Thung Song Hong Police Station.

Songpol “Yajai” Sonthirak

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) said that the court denied him bail because the offense was serious and he has repeated this offense several times.

On 3 August 2021, activists splashed paint in front of Thung Song Hong Police Station following their release after spending a night in detention on charges relating to a protest at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau on 2 August to demand that the police return a speaker truck seized after the 1 August ‘car mob’ rally.

They were charged with violating the Emergency Decree, damaging public property, and taking part in an assembly of more than 10 people which caused a breach of public peace.

3 other Thalufah activists have previously been denied bail on the same charges: Nawapol “Dino” Tonngam, Wachirawit “Peak” Limthanawong, and Pawaris “Pao” Yaemying. The three had previously been arrested during the 13 October 2020 protest at the Democracy Monument, and according to TLHR, the court denied them bail on the grounds that they had violated their previous bail conditions. However, TLHR noted that the bail conditions were set on 21 September 2021, which was after the incident on 3 August 2021. 

Activists Jatupat Boonpattarasaksa surrendered at Thung Song Hong Police Station on 9 August 2021 on the same charges. He was denied bail on the grounds that he faces other charges for similar offenses, had broken his bail conditions which prohibited him from repeating these offenses, and was likely to flee or cause danger if he is released.

Jatupat has been repeatedly denied bail and is still in detention at the Bangkok Remand Prison. The court also revoked his bail on charges relating to the 19 September 2020 protest.

According to TLHR, at least 1,458 people are now facing charges for participating in pro-democracy protests between July and September 2021. Of this number, at least 145 are facing royal defamation charges under Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code; at least 111 people are facing sedition charges under Section 116, while at least 1,171 people are facing charges for violations of the Emergency Decree.

TLHR also said that, as of 14 October, 23 people are currently in detention for participating in protests: Parit Chiwarak, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, Anon Nampa, Huad, Thawee Thiangwiset, Chitipat, Chakri, Panupong Jadnok, Nat, Nawapol Tonngam, Wachirawit Limthanawong, Pawaris Yaemying, Paitoon, Suksan, Naruebet, Pichai, Jittakorn, Tha, Sith, Thu, Benja Apan, Kachen, and Kajornsak. 

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