Student activists flashing the three-finger salute on stage at the 18 July 2020 protest, the first of a series of youth-led protest spanning 2020 - 2022

Charges against Free Youth protesters dismissed

The Dusit District Court has dismissed charges of violating the Emergency Decree against 15 activists and protesters for joining the Free Youth protest on 18 July 2020, but fined them 200 baht each for using a sound amplifier without permission.

The activists at Samran Rat Police Station after reporting to the police to hear their charges on 28 August 2020.

Taksakorn Musikarak, Pratchayaa Surakamchonrot, Chonlatis Chotisawad, Kritsana Kaikaew, Yamaruddin Songsiri, Pimsiri Petchnamrob, Sirin Mungcharoen, Nathapong Phukaew, Thanachai Aurlucha, Nawat Langwattana, Jiratita Tammarak, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, Kanniti Limcharoen, Chakrathorn Daoyaem, and Lalana Suriyo were charged in relation to the 18 July 2020 protest and indicted on 5 charges:

  1. Violating regulations regarding assemblies under the Emergency Decree,
  2. Obstructing the public way by placing or leaving thereon anything or by acting by any means which may interfere with the safety or convenience of traffic under Section 385 of the Criminal Code,
  3. Piling objects on the road under Section 19 of the Act on the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country.
  4. Obstructing traffic under Section 114 of the Road Traffic Act, and
  5. Using an electric sound amplifier without permission under Section 4 of the Controlling Public Advertisement by Sound Amplifier Act.

Sirin Mungcharoen was also charged with taking donations in public without permission under the Fundraising Control Act.

The Dusit District Court ruled on 21 March to dismiss charges against the 15 activists because no prosecution witness testified that they organized the protest, which took place in an open space, and because there is no evidence that they did anything to obstruct traffic during the protest.

However, the Court found 14 of the group, except Sirin, guilty of using a sound amplifier without permission and gave them a fine of 200-baht each, since they were giving speeches during the protest. It also found Sirin guilty of taking donations in public without permission, since the prosecution presented a picture of her holding a donation box and Sirin testified that she did not request permission from the Department of Provincial Administration. She received a 200-baht fine. 

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