Repressive bail and 112 illegality

1 07 2021

Readers might be interested in a report at Asia Democracy Chronicles on “Repressive bail conditions stifle basic freedoms in Thailand” by Anon Chawalawan from iLaw.

In an otherwise reasonable report, we wonder why Anon decided to begin the report with the usual lazy journalism: “In Thailand, the monarchy is revered.” Recent events have demonstrated that this is not true. The monarchy is contested.

Tyrant 112

Clipped from the linked report

One point worth repeating is on how bail comes with political conditions:

… the activists behind bars must accept certain conditions imposed by the court if they want their temporary freedom. The court will dismiss the petitions for bail of activists who do not agree to the conditions, such as the prohibition for them “to take part in any activity that may harm the monarchy.” The court is likely to dismiss said petitions until the activists agree to the condition. In this manner, the state uses the conditions for bail to limit anti-government protesters’ freedom of expression and movement.

The question is raised regarding the legality of this (not that the regime worries about legality). The law states:

In granting a provisional release, the official empowered to so grant or the court may stipulate any condition governing the residence of the person provisionally released or any other condition to be observed by such person, in order to prevent his abscondence or any possible danger or injury which might ensue from the provisional release (unofficial translation).

In some cases, the use of electronic tracking devices has also been part of the conditions for bail. As has been shown in two cases, other courts have rejected this requirement, suggesting that 112 bail conditions are illegal.

It is worth emphasizing that the application of the lese majeste law itself has involved courts making illegal decisions, applying the law to persons not covered by it.


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