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Five activists detained on charges relating to a protest in front of the Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters on 2 August 2021 to demand the release of 32 detained activists have been granted bail.

From left to right: Parit, Nutchanon, Phromsorn, Panupong and Thatchapong. (Source:TLHR)

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that the Court of Appeal granted bail to activists Phromsorn Weerathamjaree, Parit Chiwarak, Panupong Jadnok, Thatchapong Kaedam, and Nutchanon Pairoj earlier today (15 September), after they had earlier been denied bail several times.

9 activists were arrested on the same charges. Parit, Nutchanon, and Phromsorn were arrested along with Sirichai Natueng on 8 August 2021, after they reported to the police headquarters to show that they did not intend to flee or tamper with evidence.

Thatchapong and Panupong were arrested on the same day after they reported to Khlong Ha Police Station and were taken into custody. Thanapat Khapeng and Panadda Sirimasakul, members of the activist group Thalufah, also went to Khlong Ha Police Station with Thatchapong and Panupong and were arrested.

Sam Samat, a stateless man who was previously arrested for joining the 28 February 2021 protest and allegedly pretending to urinate onto crowd control police gathering below the containers used to block protesters, was also arrested on 7 August 2021.

Thanapat was granted bail on 13 August 2021, while Panadda, Sirichai, and Sam were granted bail on 26 August 2021.

Phromsorn, Panupong, Thatchapong, and Nutchanon were released in the afternoon. However, TLHR said that they still have to file another bail request for Parit, whose bail for charges relating to the 19 September 2020 protest has been revoked by the Criminal Court following a request from the public prosecutor.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer and activist Anon Nampa is still in detention, 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).

Activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa is also still in detention, after he was arrested on 9 August 2021 on charges related to an incident on 3 August, in which activists splashed paint in front of Thung Song Hong Police Station following their release after spending a night in detention on charges relating to a protest at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau on 2 August to demand that the police return a speaker truck seized after the 1 August ‘car mob’ rally. He was charged with violating the Emergency Decree, damaging public property, and taking part in an assembly of more than 10 people which caused a breach of public peace.

Seven of the 11 detained activists have tested positive for Covid-19 since their detention: Parit, Sirichai, Sam, Phromsorn, Panupong, Thatchapong, and Jatupat. Thanapat also tested positive for Covid-19 after he was granted bail. Meanwhile, Sam and Sirichai were transferred to a hospital after they were granted bail.

Thawee Thiangwiset, another member of the Thalufah group, was arrested today (15 September) and charged with resisting an official, committing an act of violence not amounting to bodily or mental harm to another person, escaping while in detention, and violation of the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Diseases Act.

Thawee was arrested while reporting to Nang Loeng Police Station along with other Thalufah members to hear charges relating to the incident on 22 July 2021, when they gathered to show support for 19-year-old rapper Danupha Khanatheerakul, known under her stage name Milli, who was charged with defamation for posting on her Twitter account criticism of the government. 

TLHR said that Thawee was arrested by a group of men claiming to be plainclothes officers from Phaya Thai Police Station, who did not present their police IDs. Thawee was then taken to Phaya Thai Police Station, where he was informed that his charges are related to an incident on 3 September 2021, when drivers of the Thalufah speaker truck were arrested following a protest at the Ratchaprasong intersection.

Officers who filed the complaint against Thawee said that while the group was being arrested, a group of people tried to stop the officers from taking them away, and that Thawee punched an officer in the face before escaping along with another person who was being arrested.

The inquiry officer then took Thawee to court for a temporary detention request via video conference. The court denied him bail on the grounds that he violated previous bail conditions, and that the court believes he would flee or repeat his offense. The court order was issued by judge Tewan Rodcharoen, Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Court.

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