Bangkok protest update: Protesters disperse for the night, more arrest warrants issued, prominent protest leaders denied bail

PHOTO: Prachatai

Thailand-

Three prominent pro-democracy protest leaders have been denied bail as arrest warrants have reportedly been issued for other protesters allegedly involved in an incident with a Royal motorcade yesterday in Bangkok.

The Pathum Thani Provincial Court denied bail to protest leaders Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Nutchanon Payakaphan who remain in jail for various alleged charges, including sedition, regarding yesterday’s pro-democracy protests in Bangkok this afternoon. The three remain in jail as of this evening and various human rights organizations are reportedly working to ensure their safety. The leader of the government opposition Move Forward party, Pita Limjaroenrat, told the Associated press this evening that all protesters at the Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters were safe and being well treated.

A total of 21 protesters were being held at the headquarters according to Mr. Limjaroenrat. The majority of them were charged with violating the state of emergency although the three leaders were charged with sedition.

Arnon Nampa and Prasit Khrutharoj, two other prominent protesters, were flown to Chiang Mai by a special commando unit earlier in the day to face charges of sedition dating back to an earlier rally in the Northern province. They were also denied bail.

Meanwhile, a large protest in Bangkok and a smaller protest in Bangkok and Chiang Mai continue as of 9:45 PM this evening. The protesters are asking, amongst other items, the release of the protest leaders, the resignation of the Prime Minister, dissolving parliament, rewriting the constitution and to stop harassment of protesters. Some protesters are also seeking more controversial reforms. With the declaration of the severe emergency situation earlier today, any gathering for political purposes of over five people is technically illegal, according to the Thai Government. As of press time, despite repeated warnings, officials have not broke up the gathering.

Additionally, warrants have reportedly been issued for two more prominent protesters, Ekkachai Hongkangwan and Boonkueanoon Paothong, who have been reportedly charged with section 110 of the Criminal Code. This charge refers to a threat of violence against Her Royal Majesty The Queen and could carry up to a life sentence. This is referring to a controversial incident yesterday involving a Royal motorcade carrying Her Royal Majesty the Queen and the Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti.

Update: As of 10:00 PM protesters have called off protests for the night peacefully, although warned of more protests in the near future. They are currently dispersing as light rain falls in Bangkok.

 

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