Skip to main content

Thai police have granted bail to an anti-junta activist detained for ripping up his ballot paper for the referendum on the controversial junta-sponsored draft constitution.

After interrogation, police at Bangna Police Station in Bangkok at around 10:40 pm on Sunday, 7 August 2016, granted 20,000 baht bail to Piyarat Jongthep, head of the For Friends Association (FFA), an association providing assistance to political prisoners and dissidents.

Bail was granted after the police informed him that he is accused of violating Articles 59 and 60 of the controversial Public Referendum Act together with Articles 188 and 358 of the Criminal Code.

Piyarat was detained earlier on Sunday after he tore up his ballot paper at a Bang Na District polling station before shouting the slogan “dictatorship shall be ruined and democracy shall triumph.”

In addition, police accused Jirawat Aekakkaranuwat and Thongtham Kaewpanpruek, who were with Piyarat, under Article 60 of the Public Referendum Act for recording a video clip of Piyarat as he was tearing up the ballot paper.

The two were released at 3:30 am on Monday after the police granted them 10,000 baht bail.

In a hand-written statement, Piyarat wrote “I will fight the case in a court that has used the power of dictatorship to distort the law’s legitimacy and democratic principles. I will fight the case in a judicial system that arrests and imprisons those who criticize the constitution draft. This is a draft that destroys the principles of law and the rule of law to such a degree that it will be difficult to find a solution and which lacks security for the liberty and freedom of the Thai people. ”

The police interrogate Piyarat at Bangna Police Station in Bangkok on 7 August 2016

Prachatai English's Logo

Prachatai English is an independent, non-profit news outlet committed to covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite pressure from the authorities. Your support will ensure that we stay a professional media source and be able to meet the challenges and deliver in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: [email protected], please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”