Two activists granted bail

Activists Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa and Panupong Jadnok have been granted bail and released after spending 6 months in detention pending trial on several charges relating to protests in 2020 and 2021, including royal defamation charges.

Jatupat was greeted by a crowd of supporters after he left the Bangkok Remand Prison on Thursday (10 February 2022) night (Photo by Ginger Cat)

Jatupat was detained pending trial on royal defamation charges relating to the 19 – 20 September 2020 protests at Sanam Luang and the 1 February 2021 protest in front of the Phu Khiao Police Station in Chaiyaphum, in which he gave a speech calling for monarchy reform.

In addition, he was also detained on other charges relating to protests on 13 October 2020, 18 November 2020, and 3 August 2021.

Meanwhile, Panupong was detained pending trial on royal defamation charges relating to protests on 19 – 20 September 2020, 25 November 2020, 21 August 2020, 2 December 2020, and 1 February 2021. He was also detained on other charges relating to a protest on 28 September 2020.

The Ratchadapisek Criminal Court granted Jatupat and Panupong bail on Wednesday (9 February 2022) and required a security of 270,000 baht for Jatupat and 435,000 baht for Panupong, which was covered by the Will of the People Fund, a bail fund for those facing charges related to political expression.

The court also appointed Boonlert Visetpricha, lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Thammasat University, as their supervisor.

They were given the same conditions as those given to activists who were previously released after being held in pre-trial detention. The court prohibited them from participating in activities which damage the monarchy, obstruct court proceedings, or cause public disorder, and leaving the country without court permission.

They must also wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, and must stay at home between 18.00 – 06.00, and are required to report to court every 30 days.

However, they were not released on Wednesday night (9 February 2022), as they were still detained on orders of other courts. The South Bangkok Criminal Court and the Phu Khiao Provincial Court then granted them bail on Thursday (10 February 2022). The South Bangkok Criminal Court gave them the same conditions as the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court, and required a security of 100,000 baht each, while the Phu Khiao Provincial Court required a security of 200,000 baht each and set the condition that they must not repeat their offense.

Jatupat was released from the Bangkok Remand Prison on Thursday night (10 February 2022), while Panupong was detained for another night as the Ayutthaya Provincial Court has yet to rule on his bail request. It granted him bail after a hearing on Friday morning (11 February 2022) and gave him the same conditions as those set by the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court. While the court did not require a security, Panupong will receive a fine of 150,000 baht if he violates his bail conditions. He was released from the Bangkok Remand Prison on Friday afternoon (11 February 2022).

Panupong's mother Yupin Maneewong hugging him after he left prison on Friday (11 February 2022). (Photo by Ginger Cat)

With Jatupat and Panupong’s release, at least 10 people remain in detention pending trial on charges relating to political expression. Of this number, 2 are detained on royal defamation charges: activists Anon Nampa and Parit Chiwarak. 7 other people are detained on charges relating to the protests at the Din Daeng Intersection in August – October 2021, one of whom is a 16-year-old protester accused of burning traffic light control cabinets and detained at the Ban Metta Juvenile Remand Home.

Among this group is also activist Thawee Thiangwiset, a member of the activist group Thalufah, who is detained on charges of resisting an official, committing an act of violence not amounting to bodily or mental harm against another person, escaping while in detention, and violation of the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Diseases Act. The charges are in relation to an incident on 3 September 2021, when drivers of the Thalufah speaker truck were arrested following a protest at the Ratchaprasong intersection.

He is also 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 in relation 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.

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