11 July 2024

Anti-establishment protesters, led by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, rallied in front of the Criminal Court Tuesday afternoon to mourn what, they allege, is injustice and to demand the release of their leaders and fellow protesters.

The protesters placed wreaths at the gates of the court and tied white ribbons to the gate to mourn the court’s refusal to grant bail to core leaders of the Ratsadon group.

Three Ratsadon core leaders, namely Panusaya Sitthijirawattanakul, Panupong Jardnok, alias Mike Rayong, and Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, alias Pai Daodin, were yesterday indicted on lèse majesté charges, related to the protests in front of Thammasat University and Sanam Luang on September 19th and 20th. The Criminal Court denied them bail.

Earlier, four other Ratsadon leaders, namely Parit Chiwarak, Arnon Nampa, Somyos Prueksakasemsook and Patiwat Saraiyaem, were indicted on lèse majesté charges and have been denied bail by both the Criminal and Appeals courts.

A leading member of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, Ms. Benja Arpun, said that all the defendants being held on remand might be there for up to 2 years awaiting trial which, she added, is very unfair because they have not been convicted yet.

She said that she is concerned about the condition of all those being held in prison, but maintained that the arrests and imprisonment of the core leaders will not put an end to their movement.

Ms. Benja said she is also facing four lèse majesté charges and may end up in remand prison as well later this month, in connection with the protest in front of the German embassy some time ago.