Two protest leaders involved in recent anti Thai government protests have been reportedly detained at Huai Khwang Police Station for alleged sedition and violating the emergency decree.
Human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, 35, and Panupong Jaadnok, 23, a young leader of recent anti-government rallies, are under arrest for alleged sedition and violations of the emergency decree after participating in the mass protest in Bangkok on July 18.
During the protests, the lawyer’s speech had referred to the demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan O’Cha and some highly sensitive subjects related to the monarchy and the constitution. However, according to the warrant, he is not accused of the latter subjects.
The warrant accuses them of sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code; of organizing an assembly of ten or more people under Section 215 of the Criminal Code; violating the Emergency Decree, which bans large gatherings under Section 385 of the Criminal Code; violating Section 19 of the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country Act; and of using a loudspeaker without permission under the Controlling Public Advertisement by Sound Amplifier Act.
The anti-government activists were arrested yesterday, August 7, in the afternoon and were taken to the Bangkok Criminal Court in the evening to hear the final of the temporary detention request.
At midnight, the court declined to process a police request to jail the activists for 12 days of detention since the request was submitted outside of working hours and ordered the officers to bring them in for detention again within 48 hours.
According to the Deputy Chief Justice of the Criminal Court, the police can still hold them in custody even though the Court had dismissed the temporary detention request. Anon and Panupong were eventually detained overnight at Huai Khwang Police Station.
Police Colonel Purit Jintranan of the Huai Khwang police station announced that the officers would hold the two overnight and return with their detention petition at the court this morning. They have been reportedly waiting for a court appearance since 8:00 AM this morning, Saturday, until press time this afternoon. A number of anti government and pro-democracy protesters rallied in front of the police station, being held back by police as they showed support for the two detained protesters.
Purit told the Associated Press: “Yesterday, we arrested these two men and we sent them to the Criminal court to ask them to be jailed, but because it is after the court’s working hour, the court sent them to be detained by us.”
The Pattaya News will continue to update this story as new information comes in. It is worth noting that the Emergency Decree section for mass assembly they are charged with does not apply as of August 1st, but did apply when they held the reported gatherings in July.
The Free People group, a prominent organizer of the recent protests, have called for another major rally on August 16th and state that their three demands, to dissolve parliament by September, rewrite the constitution and stop official and unofficial harassing of activists remain in place and are non negotiable. Their demands include the resignation of the entire current government, including the Prime Minister.