12 C
Saturday, October 24, 2020

Two Key Protesters Arrested, Released On Bail While 31 More Are Targeted

Two protest leaders initially announced that they would not request to be bailed out as doing so would jeopardize their political activities

Must read

French Teacher Beheaded For Showing Prophet Mohammed’s Caricatures In Class

FRANCE. Paris. A man beheaded a history teacher for showing caricatures of Prophet Mohammed in his class. The assault took place on...

‘Shahzada Ali’, Written And Directed By Akbar And Azam Quadri, Is Now Streaming on MXPlayer

INDIA. Shahzada Ali, written and directed by Akbar and Azam Quadri is now streaming on MXPlayer. Also produced by the Quadri brothers,...

Mantra Healing Through Gayatri Worship

INDIA. The current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns have brought special significance to the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra. The sense...

‘Lost’ River That Flowed Through Thar Desert 172 Thousand Years Ago Found

INDIA.Thar Desert, Rajasthan: An international team of researchers has unearthed a 'lost" river that once flowed through the central Thar Desert near...
Chatwan Mongkol
Chatwan Mongkol
A freelance journalist based in Bangkok, Thailand covering Thai politics

THAILAND. Bangkok. In a democratic country, citizens are free to express their dissents, but in a democratic country under a military-drafted constitution, things are working differently.

After Free Youth’s protest and weeks of nationwide anti-government protests, two protest leaders were arrested with eight charges. Following a night at a police station and long hours in court, they were released on bail. Local news reported 31 other names who are targeted by the authorities. Members of the public objected to the arrests stating “if we don’t fight, we will live as slaves.”

- Advertisement -

On Friday (7 Aug.) afternoon, Human Rights Lawyer Anon Nampa and University Student Panupong Jadnok, both appearing at many anti-government protests in the past weeks, were arrested with eight allegations include violation of the state of the emergency act, sedition, and traffic obstructions, according to arrest warrants.

Prior to Nampa’s arrest, he publicly criticized the monarchy at a protest despite the lèse-majesté law.

- Advertisement -

Both of them appeared at the Criminal Court as the police requested detention orders from the court after interrogations at police stations.

The court denied the request four hours into the hearing citing that the request was submitted outside of the court operating hours, which Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that it resulted in police losing custody on the two suspects. However, the police insisted on detaining them before forcefully carrying them into a police van. Nampa and Jadnok were held at Huai Khwang Police Station for a night.

- Advertisement -

On Saturday (8 Aug.) morning, Nampa and Jadnok were taken to the Criminal Court again to review the request. The court approved the detention orders but released both of them in the afternoon on bail with conditions as they requested.

The two protest leaders initially announced that they would not request to get bailed out as doing so would jeopardize their political activities.

Other protest leaders are targeted

After the two arrests were made, iLaw released a leaked document of 31 names that are suspects from the Free Youth’s protest on 18 July. The list then went viral on social media.

Matichon reported that police already requested arrest warrants for 15 protest leaders while they are still collecting evidence for the other 16 people. The report said the police will arrest all 31 protest leaders by 10 Aug.

Parit Chiwarak, one of the 31, announced he would not turn himself in as he believes the warrant is illegitimate.

Elected representatives appeared at the scene

Members of the Parliament (MP) from the Move Forward Party appeared at the court on Friday night to support both suspects while offering their elected-positions as bail for all 31 protest leaders as needed. An elected-representative position worths 1,000,000 Baht (around 32,000 USD) as a bailout.

Two of them ended up using their positions to bail Nampa and Jadnok out.

MPs from the Pheu Thai Party led by Sudarat Keyuraphan, its chief strategist, also appeared at the Bang Khen Police Station where most protesters were at to support them.

MPs from Move Forward Party are at the Criminal Court. Image Credit: Move Forward Party’s Facebook page
MPs from Pheu Thai Party are at the Bang Khen Police Station. Image Credit: Sudarat Keyuraphan’s Facebook page

Public reaction after the arrest

Immediately after Nampa’s arrest, a hashtag #saveทนายอานนท์ (#SaveLawyerAnon) trended on Twitter. Hundreds of people gathered on Friday evening at the Bang Khen Police Station where the interrogation happened to protest the arrests and demand the release. Students activists whose names appeared on the targeted list led the protest.

Protesters moved to Huai Khwang Police Station as the two were taken there from the court. Some protesters stayed overnight.

The crowd continued to gather on Saturday at the Criminal Court as Nampa and Jadnok waited for the court decision before another mass student-led flashmob was organized in the afternoon.

Hundreds of people are gathering at Bang Khen Police Station to protest the arrests. Image Credit: Prachatai
A crowd is gathering at the Criminal Court while waiting for the court decision on Nampa’s and Jadnok’s detention orders. Image Credit: Prachatai

“If we don’t fight, we will live as slaves.”

On Saturday, over 1,000 people joined the Free People group, a group that was launched by Free Youth to be more inclusive, in pressuring the authorities to release the two protest leaders at Pathumwan Skywalk. The event led to a hashtag #ถ้าไม่สู้ก็อยู่อย่างทาส (#IfWeDon’tFightWeWillLiveAsSlaves).

Despite the inclement weather and pressure from the police, demonstrators continued to raise their three fingers salute known as a dictatorship-opposed sign in Thailand and sang “Do You Hear the People Sing?”

Organizers reminded everyone again of the three initial demands: the dissolution of the parliament, a more democratic constitution, and an end to state harassment. 

Many activists whose names were on the leaked targeted list also appeared at the event. They asked that everyone joins the big protest on 16 Aug. at the Democracy Monument.

Since the dusk, a thousand of people led by the pro-democracy activists join a flash mob on the Skywalk in Bangkok to…

Posted by Napat Tar Wesshasartar on Saturday, August 8, 2020

The protest on 16 Aug. is by the Free People as Free Youth promised a bigger event if their demands were not met in two weeks. 1 Aug. marked a complete two weeks.

“We won’t stop until the dark power is gone,” chanted protesters before dissolution.

More articles

Latest article

India’s Best-Selling Collaborative Fiction Novelists Launch Their Second Book

INDIA. India's first collaborative fiction writers have published their second fiction novel 'Mooncircles - As the Night Unravelled'. The authors who have...

Masaba Gupta Launches A Limited Edition Of Headphones Designed For The Millennial At Lakmé Fashion Week 2020

INDIA. Mumbai. When one thinks of a great lifestyle brand then it is boAt that makes life truly exciting. The brand has...

The Disha Patil Digital First Season Fluid Edition Collection At Lakmé Fashion Week 2020–A Beautiful Offering Of Stylish Geometric Creations

INDIA. Mumbai. When geometry and fashion merge creatively for a collection, the result is a grand offering of stunning ensembles. Disha Patil’s...

Photocarrefour Africa Invites Abuja To View The Global Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic shapes a new reality where exhibits serve as a viewpoint to understand it. He said, “We expect people to look at the images of various artists from the world. And feel the changes brought by the pandemic from their perspective.”

Spain And France Exceed One Million COVID-19 Cases

SPAIN. Spain and France have surpassed one million COVID-19 cases this week. Many European countries are still battling with the COVID-19 outbreak....