On Wednesday, 3 November, the Criminal Court granted bail to 4 activists detained pending trial on charges relating to an incident on 3 August 2021 when paint was splashed in front of Thung Song Hong Police Station.
Thalufah members putting up their flag in front of Thung Song Hong Police Station on 3 August 2021 (Picture from Thalufah)
Songpol “Yajai” Sonthirak, Nawapol “Dino” Tonngam, Wachirawit “Peak” Limthanawong, and Pawaris “Pao” Yaemying, members of the activist group Thalufah, were released after the Criminal Court granted them bail on the condition that they do not join gatherings that cause public disorder or leave the country. They must also come to court as required and face a 35,000-baht fine for any violation of bail conditions.
The four were 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 by splashing paint in front of Thung Song Hong Police Station. They were hit with the charges after being released from a night in detention following a protest at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau on 2 August. The protest was held to demand that the police return a speaker truck seized after the 1 August ‘car mob’ rally.
Activist Jatupat Boonpattarasaksa surrendered and was similarly charged at the Thung Song Hong Police Station on 9 August 2021. The court revoked his bail on charges stemming from the 19 September 2020 protest. He was also denied bail for this latest charge on the grounds that he is facing charges for similar offences, had broken bail conditions which prohibit him from repeating these offences, and was likely to flee or cause danger if released. Jatupat is still in detention at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), Nawapol, Wachirawit, and Pawaris were in prison for 33 days, while Songpol was detained for 15 days.
Songpol and Pawaris were released from the Bangkok Remand Prison on Wednesday night. Nawapol and Wachirawit contracted Covid-19 in prison and had been receiving treatment at the Department of Corrections Hospital. They have now been transferred to a civilian hospital.
Nawapol previously planned to get married on 11 November. His fiancée told TLHR that, because he was imprisoned and has contracted Covid-19, they have to postpone their wedding to 10 December. She also said that they have to pay a 30,000-baht postponement fee, as everything has already been booked for the ceremony.
TLHR reported that at least 23 people are currently being detained on charges relating to political expression and participation. This includes five facing royal defamation charges: Parit Chiwarak, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, Anon Nampa, Panupong Jadnok, and Benja Apan.
A bail revocation hearing was held on Wednesday, 3 November, for Anon, Panupong, student activist Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul and singer-turned activist Chaiamorn “Ammy” Kaewwiboonpan, for charges relating to the 19 September 2020 protest. After the full-day hearing, the Court scheduled another hearing for Panusaya, Panupong, and Chaiamorn on 18 November.
Panusaya and Chaiamorn are currently out on bail after being detained pending trial earlier this year. If their bail is revoked, they could be detained indefinitely.
Anon Nampa speaking at the 3 August 2021 protest
On Thursday, 4 November, the Court decided not to revoke Anon’s bail on the condition that he remain in his residence and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. However, he is still being detained on separate charges stemming from his participation in protests on 3 August 2020, 14 October 2020, and 3 August 2021.
After the 4 November ruling, his lawyer moved to bail him out of prison but the request was denied on the grounds that there is no reason to change existing court order. This latest order was signed by judge Chanchai Na Pikul.