Anon Nampa denied bail in royal defamation charge

Activist and human rights lawyer Anon Nampa have been denied bail after he was arrested on a royal defamation charge due to his speech at the second Harry Potter protest on 3 August 2021 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC).

Anon Nampa during his speech at the 3 August 2021 protest

Anon went to Pathumwan Police Station on Monday (9 August) after hearing that an arrest warrant had been issued for him on charges relating to the 3 August protest. Once he arrived, the police presented an arrest warrant issued by the South Bangkok Criminal Court, signed by judge Somchai Prukchaikul.

Anon is charged with royal defamation under Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, violating the Emergency Decree, and using a sound amplifier without permission. The charges are a result of a complaint filed by Nopadol Prompasit, a member of the Thailand Help Centre for Cyberbullying Victims, an online royalist group whose members have filed numerous lèse majesté charges against many netizens, over the speech Anon gave at the 3 August protest calling for monarchy reform.

Nopadol previously filed a complaint against activist Parit Chiwarak for Facebook posts he made about King Vajiralongkorn’s divorce from his ex-wife Sujarinee Vivacharawongse, and the use of Sanam Luang for funerals. He has also filed complaints against activists Piyarat Chongthep and Chonticha Jaengrew.

Anon spent 2 nights in police custody before being taken to court for a temporary detention hearing this morning (11 August). The court approved the temporary detention request and denied him bail on the ground that he was accused of committing a serious offense and had breached his previous bail conditions, and that the inquiry officers objected to bail as they believe he is likely to commit further offences.

Anon is now facing 13 counts of charges under Section 112. According to TLHR, at least 116 people are now facing charges under Section 112 in 115 cases, 58 of which are a result of complaints filed by members of the public, many of whom are members of royalist groups.

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and 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”