Nine pro-democracy activists denied bail and detained at Thanyaburi District Prison after being charged for illegal gathering, violating Emergency Decree

PHOTO: Daily News

Bangkok –

Pro-democracy prominent protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and another eight activists were denied bail last night, August 9th, after being charged for allegedly violating the Emergency Decree.

Four pro-democracy activists, namely Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Sirichai “New” Nathuang, Nutchanon Pairote, and Promsorn “Fah” Veerathamjaree, were arrested on Saturday following the arrest warrant issued by Thanyaburi Provincial Court over charges of illegal assembly at the Region 1 Border Police Bureau on August 2nd which violated the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Disease Control Act to prevent Covid-19 spread.

Under strict Covid-19 related rules currently in place in Thailand, gatherings of more than 5 people are against the law in 29 major provinces, including Bangkok. Rallies or mass assemblies of any type, including protests, are illegal. Gathering around alcohol or for socializing/parties with more than one person is against the law in these maximum control zones as well. The Thai government says these rules are meant to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but protesters say the rules stop people from expressing their opinions, even when they socially distance, wear masks, or use vehicles in car rallies to avoid clustering in groups.

All eight of the accused were taken to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau for further interrogation at the end of the day.

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PHOTO: Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)

As of yesterday, five more activists – Panupong “Mike” Jadnok, Tanapat “Poon” Kapheng, Chatchai “Boy” Kaedum, and “Tong” Panatda – also surrendered at Khlong Ha police in Khlong Luang over similar accusations.

They were later taken to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau for interrogation and detention for one night, according to the officials.

As of 9:40 PM., Thanyaburi Provincial Court had denied bail against nine detainees, reasoning that all of the accused had acted fearlessly against Thai law and against public safety and order during a widespread outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. All suspects must be taken into custody at Thanyaburi District Prison immediately after the reading.

As of 10:10 PM., they refused to get in the police vehicle as an act of civil disobedience of the order. The crowd control police then took charges of the detention. An act of physical harm was also reported during the detention, according to pro-democracy observers.

All the accused, along with other prominent protest leaders like Anon Nampha, remain in custody as of today.  

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.