250 academics urge Thai court to release four detained Ratsadon leaders
Over 250 academics from 31 institutions are demanding that the courts release four Ratsadon leaders, currently detained at Bangkok remand prison on lèse majesté and other charges, following the September 19th and 20th protests at Thammasat University and Sanam Luang.
The academics have signed a petition seeking the court’s review of its earlier decision to deny bail to the four defendants, namely Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, lawyer Anon Nampa, Somyos Prueksakasemsook and Patiwat Saraiyaem.
Reminding judges of the presumption of innocence, the lecturers say in the petition that the court’s refusal to grant bail amounts to pre-judgement, which goes against the principles of the Constitution.
Citing the case of Parit, who is still a student, the lecturers also claim that the court’s rejection of his bail request is tantamount to depriving him of his right of access to education.
Noting that the government is in direct conflict with the protesters and the likelihood that authorities will take legal action against more protesters, the lecturers urged the court to maintain its independence and to protect the rights and liberties of the people.
The Criminal Court denied the four Ratsadon leaders bail on the grounds that they are repeat offenders and, if they were to be released, they might commit the same offences again.
The lecturers have been to the Bangkok remand prison to offer moral support to the four detainees.