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A second bail request by human rights lawyer and activist Anon Nampa has been denied despite him showing no tendency to flee.

The Appeal Court dismissed Anon’s second bail request, which was submitted on 12 October, after he was found guilty of royal defamation on 26 September and sentenced to 4 years in prison over a speech he gave during a protest on 14 October 2020. The Criminal Court ruled that he defamed the King by saying that if the protest were to be dispersed, it should only be at the order of the King, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

The Appeal Court stated that he is likely to flee and there is no reason to change the previous order, resulting in the dismissal of Anon’s bail request.

Anon’s lawyer argued that Anon has a permanent residence and his movements could be easily monitored. In addition, he is serving as a lawyer in over 39 cases for defendants facing criminal charges for exercising their freedom of expression. His clients may be in difficulty if he is not granted provisional release. This reinforces the contention that Anon is unlikely to flee.

In addition, the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court had previously allowed Anon to travel to South Korea from 12-22 May 2023 to receive the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. Upon returning to Thailand, Anon reported to the court.

The bail application requested that the court consider provisional release on the principle that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a final judgement, according to Section 29 of the Constitution.

Anon is facing a total of 14 other royal defamation charges filed against him for protest speeches and Facebook posts. Each count carries a prison sentence of 3 – 15 years and he is among 9 people detained pending trial or appeal on royal defamation charges. The 8 others are Wut, Wayha Saenchonchanasuk, Teepagorn, Warunee, Wat, Sopon Surariddhidhamrong, Udom, and Sombat Thongyoi.

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