Revoking 112 bail

8 07 2021

Via Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Thai Enquirer reports that “the public prosecutor has asked the court to revoke the bail of [Wanwalee Thammasattaya or] Tee Payao, a student activist facing lese-majeste charges…”.

She was charged under Article 112 for a speech she made at a protest at Wongwian Yai on 6 December 2020. Later, after the Office of the Attorney General proceeded with the prosecution, the Thonburi Criminal Court sent her to pre-trial detention on April 27.

Wanwalee

Wanwalee. Clipped from Prachatai

After 11 days in detention, she was granted bail on the “condition that she not publicly insult or arrange any activity against the royal institution.” The latter is royalist-speak for the monarchy, but a term now widely used, demonstrating the continuing strength of the dominant royalist ideology.

On 6 July 2021, the Thonburi Department of Criminal Litigation told a court hearing “that Wanwalee had breached her bail conditions when she made a speech during a series of protests by the Ratsadon group, the main student led pro-democracy group, on June 24.”

Remarkably, the department invoked the virus emergency decree as one reason for revoking bail. This is telling as it highlights how authoritarian regimes have welcomed the virus as a way of embedding their rule. It is ironic in that the regime’s prisons have terrible record on the virus, which has raged through them.

The department alleges that on 24 June, “Wanwalee had made a speech about the [monarchy] and the content could be against the lese-majeste law.”

The prosecutor “handed … evidence of her speech to the court…”. On its part, the court said it would “rule on the possible revocation of Wanwalee’s bail on July 12.”

This is unlikely to be the end of real and threatened bail revocations – now used as a means of political repression – as the regime’s (political) police “have asked the public prosecutor to request for bail revocations for five protest leaders from the Ratsadon.”


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