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The Military Court has released the eight junta critics who were abducted and charged with sedition for mocking the junta leader.

The Military Court of Bangkok on Tuesday, 10 May 2016, granted bail to Supachai Saibutr, a photographer, Harit Mahaton, former reporter of Matichon and independent writer, Noppakao Kongsuwan, a person affiliated with the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), the main red shirt faction, Natthika Worathaiwich, Worawit Saksamutnan, Yothin Mankongsanga, Thonnawan Buranasiri and Kannasit Tangboonthina.

The bail was granted after Winyat Chatmontree, a lawyer from Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA) representing the eight, submitted bail requests with 200,000 baht as surety for each of the eight suspects.

The eight are suspected of offences under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law, for their alleged involvement in Facebook pages mocking Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, such as a Facebook page called ‘We Love Gen Prayut.’

Among the eight, Harit and Natthika also face charges under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lѐse majesté law, for sending messages deemed defamatory to the Thai monarchy in their private Facebook chat.

They were charged after the legal office of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the formal name of the Thai junta, filed complaints against them to the police.

The eight were abducted by the military on 27 April. The military court issued arrest warrants for them one day after their abduction. 

According to Winyat, bail was granted on condition that they do not participate in or perform any act which could incite conflict or cause harm to national security.

The suspects are also barred from travelling to any foreign country, the lawyer added.

The eight will be released from the Bangkok Remand Prison and the Central Women’s Correctional Institute on Tuesday evening.

Some of the eight junta critics charged with sedition for mocking the junta leader in front of Bangkok's Military Court on 10 May 2016 (courtesy of Sa-nguan Khumrungroj)

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