4 pro-democracy protesters released from temporary detention

Anon Nampa, Ekkachai Hongkangwan, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, and Suranat Paenprasoet, who have been imprisoned for the past 20 days on charges relating to recent pro-democracy protests, have been released after a court denied a police request for their continued temporary detention.

Somyot, Anon, Ekkachai and Suranat walked out of Bangkok Remand Prison on 3 Nov midnight.

Somyot and Anon were arrested and detained for their participation in the 19-20 September protest at Thammasat University and Sanam Luang. Ekkachai and Suranat were alleged to have harmed Her Majesty the Queen’s liberty in the 14 October incident where a royal motorcade surprisingly passed through protesters on Phitsanulok Road.

The release took place at midnight on 3 November from Bangkok Remand Prison where a crowd had gathered to welcome them.

“Thank you specially to the judicial system that we can take a look at ourselves and not accept becoming a victim or the conditions of dictatorial power,” said Anon, who has lost some weight during his time in prison.

He also stated that society and the pro-democracy movement have moved in the right direction, according to him and the others who were set free. Dictators must admit that it is time to change. He also underlined the demands for the Prime Minister’s resignation, constitutional amendments and monarchy reform. Anon stated that he is ready and willing to join the protests again.

To a media question whether his release is related to King Rama X’s interview with the media yesterday where he said “Thailand is the land of compromise”, Anon said it is a good thing that we must speak to each other straightforwardly and speak with respect where we respect the institution and the institution respects the protestors as fellow human beings. We must use peaceful methods to reach a common ground. The government must create an atmosphere to sincerely seek solutions to problems, and not as now issue arrest warrants, which will not solve the problems.

“The prison is a graveyard for the living and it still serves to oppress and compel, because prison does not exist for solutions, but for revenge. They let the modus operandi exist in order to restrain us and force us. But it has had no success in stopping the struggle of the people,” said Somyot, who was jailed for 7 years in 2011 after being found guilty under Section 112 of the Criminal Code.

Ekkachai and Suranat still insist that they did not, in any way, block the royal motorcade. Ekkachai said several clips have proved that he is innocent of the allegation. The court decision that rejected the police request to extend his detention is a minor proof that he is innocent.


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