Thailand: two pro-democracy defenders arrested for delivering a speech in anti-monarchy ralliesEvent
- Initial Date
- Aug 7, 2020
- Event Description
Human rights lawyer Anon Nampa and student activist Panupong Jadnok are now under arrest on sedition charges under Section 116 of the Criminal Code and for violating the Emergency Decree after they took part in the mass protest on 18 July.
Anon was arrested in front of his condominiumat around 14.10 today. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that around 8 uniformed and plainclothes police officers came to execute the arrest warrant and took him to Samranrat Police Station.
Anon also posted a picture of the arrest warrant on his Facebook profile with the comment �I have been arrested.�
The warrant accuses Anon of sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code; of organizing an assembly of ten or more people and threatening to cause violence or a breach of peace under Section 215 of the Criminal Code; violating the Emergency Decree, which bans large gatherings; obstructing the public way without permission under Section 385 of the Criminal Code; violating Section 19 of the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country Act; and of using loudspeaker without permission under the Controlling Public Advertisement by Sound Amplifier Act.
�Anon can only be detained no more than 48 hours before he has to be produced before the court. At that time he will likely seek bail,� Yaowalak Anuphan, head of TLHR, told Khaosod English.
Yaowalak also said that the warrant named Anon the seventh suspect, suggesting that his arrest is part of a �larger crackdown on pro-democracy activists.�
At around 15.00, TLHR reported that Panupong, a Rayong-based student activist who previously face harassment from the authorities after he attempted to hold up a protest sign during Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha�s visit to Rayong last month, was also arrested in front of Ramkhamhaeng University and was also taken to the Samranrat Police Station.
Panupong was arrested on the same charges as Anon and was named the fifth suspect on the warrant.
At around 15.30, police sneaked past the crowd gathering at Samranrat Police Station and took Anon to Bangkhen Police Station, while Panupong was held at the Samranrat Police Station.
The Free Youth Movement has called for a demonstration at 18.00 in front of Bangkhen Police Station, stating on their Facebook page that at least three people have now been arrested for taking part in the protest on 18 July.
At 17.40, both Panupong and Anon are being taken to the Bangkok Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road. TLHR said that, if both are detained and are unable to post bail in time, they will be send to prison.
TLHR also reported that the inquiry officer at the Samranrat Police Station has forced Panupong to sign a statement without waiting for his lawyer to arrive. He was then taken to court without his lawyer.
The arrests took place after Anon gave a speech at the Harry Potter-themed protest on Monday (3 August), calling for monarchy reform and open criticism of the crown, and after the Free People Group�s launch event earlier today at the Democracy Monument, where they announced that they will be holding another protest on 16 August. Anon was also due to speak on monarchy reform at a rally in Chiang Mai on Sunday (9 August).
Around 30 other people involved in organising the 18 July protest or spoke on stage could also be currently targetted for arrest.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- 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 7 August 2020, Arnon Nampa and Panupong Jadnok, pro-democracy defenders, were arrested by the police for their leading role in recent anti-monarchy rallies in Bangkok, Thailand.