Activist’s bail revoked over protest at Ministry of Culture

The South Bangkok Criminal Court on Friday (26 January) revoked bail for activist Netiporn Sanesangkhom, claiming she violated her bail condition by participating in a protest at the Ministry of Culture on 6 August 2023.

Netiporn Sanesangkhom (Photo by Ginger Cat)

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) said that the Court cited a witness testimony that Netiporn sprayed paint onto Queen Suthida’s personal flag, which the Court said could damage the monarchy’s reputation. It ruled that she violated the condition she was given when granted bail on a royal defamation charge, i.e. that she must not repeat her offence.

TLHR said that Netiporn was also sentenced on the same day to 1 month in prison on a contempt of court charge for an incident on 19 October 2023, during which a police officer hit Netiporn with a baton and injured her. She decided not to file for bail in both cases and is now detained at the Central Women Correctional Institution.

An inquiry officer at Pathumwan Police Station filed a request in November 2023 to revoke bail for Netiporn and activist Tantawan Tuatulanon. The Court ruled not to revoke Tantawan’s bail, citing lack of evidence that she violated her bail condition while participating in the protest.

On 6 August 2023, activists staged a protest at the Ministry of Culture to demand that Senator and poet Naowarat Pongpaiboon be stripped of his national artist status after he abstained during the parliamentary vote to choose a Prime Minister when former Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat was nominated, saying that his abstention made him a hypocrite since he had initially pledged to vote for the Prime Minister nominated by the majority of the lower house.

18 activists who participated in the protest were subsequently charged with trespassing, destruction of property, using fireworks without permission, holding a public gathering without notifying the authorities, and vandalizing public property.

TLHR said last night (29 January) that Netiporn has been undergoing a dry hunger strike since Saturday (27 January) in protest of her detention.

 

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