Thailand: four pro-democracy defenders, including two leaders, arrestedEvent
- Initial Date
- Aug 9, 2021
- Final Date
- Aug 9, 2021
- Event Description
Anon went to Pathumwan Police Station on Monday (9 August) after hearing that an arrest warrant had been issued for him on charges relating to the 3 August protest. Once he arrived, the police presented an arrest warrant issued by the South Bangkok Criminal Court, signed by judge Somchai Prukchaikul.
Anon is charged with royal defamation under Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, violating the Emergency Decree, and using a sound amplifier without permission. The charges are a result of a complaint filed by Nopadol Prompasit, a member of the Thailand Help Centre for Cyberbullying Victims, an online royalist group whose members have filed numerous lèse majesté charges against many netizens, over the speech Anon gave at the 3 August protest calling for monarchy reform.
Nopadol previously filed a complaint against activist Parit Chiwarak for Facebook posts he made about King Vajiralongkorn’s divorce from his ex-wife Sujarinee Vivacharawongse, and the use of Sanam Luang for funerals. He has also filed complaints against activists Piyarat Chongthep and Chonticha Jaengrew.
Anon spent 2 nights in police custody before being taken to court for a temporary detention hearing this morning (11 August). The court approved the temporary detention request and denied him bail on the ground that he was accused of committing a serious offense and had breached his previous bail conditions, and that the inquiry officers objected to bail as they believe he is likely to commit further offences.
Anon is now facing 13 counts of charges under Section 112. According to TLHR, at least 116 people are now facing charges under Section 112 in 115 cases, 58 of which are a result of complaints filed by members of the public, many of whom are members of royalist groups.
Jatupat was arrested after he surrendered himself at Thung Song Hong Police Station on Monday (9 August), along with Thawee Thiangwiset, another member of the activist group Thalufah. 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.
The charges are related to an incident on 3 August, in which 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.
Thalufah member Songpol Sonthirak, who was at Khlong Ha Police Station to show support for another group of activists turning themselves in, was also arrested and taken to Thung Song Hong Police Station, while Nawapol Ton-ngam and Chitrin Plakangtong, two other members of the Thalufah group, were notified of the same charges while at Thung Song Hong Police Station to show support for their friends.
The inquiry officers did not detain Nawapol and Chitrin, but filed a request to temporarily detain Jatupat, Tawee, and Songpol, all of whom have arrest warrants.
The Criminal Court later granted bail to Tawee and Songpol with 35,000 baht as security, but denied bail to Jatupat on the grounds that he faces other charges for similar offenses, has broken his bail conditions which prohibit him from repeating these offenses, and is likely to flee or cause danger if he is released.
The order to deny bail for Jatupat is signed by judge Chanathip Muanpawong, who previously denied bail to several pro-democracy activists detained pending trial earlier this year. Chanathip also sentenced Ampon Tangnoppakul, or “Uncle SMS,” to 20 years in prison on a royal defamation charge under Section 112 in 2011, after Ampon was accused of sending messages to Somkiat Krongwattanasuk, who was at the time the secretary of then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, which were deemed offensive to the King and Queen.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Enactment of repressive legislation and policies
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to Protest
- Pro-democracy defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 9 August 2021, four pro-democracy defenders including leaders Jatupat Boonpattararaksa and Anon Nampa were arrested by the police under charges including royal defamation and violation of COVD-19 law for their role in recent protests in Bangkok, Thailand.