Chukiat  Saengwong

ChukiatChukiat  Saengwong, also known as Justin, aged 30, and a member of the Ratsadon group, was arrested at night on 22 March 2021. He faced lese majeste and a slew of other charges including sedition. The charges relate to several protests, with the most recent being on 20 March 2021.

He was one of the first group of protesters to be summoned in late November 2020 when the military-backed regime began using lese majeste charges again.

Police allege that at the 20 March protest near the Supreme Court, Chukiat affixed a piece of paper on which were written offensive words to a portrait of the King erected outside the court.

The police claimed his action was recorded by a security camera. Soon after, protesters burned the portrait.

Chukiat has denied all charges.

The court approved a police request to detain Chukiat. A bail application was rejected, with the court claiming that, if released, Chukiat may commit similar offences again, that the case was serious and carried a heavy penalty.

His lawyers stated that the police tried to interrogate Chukiat with a police-appointed lawyer and confiscated his phone. Because he objected to this, the police had him handcuffed.

He has been repeatedly denied bail and contracted COVID-19 while detained.

Media accounts of Chukiat’s case:

Bangkok Post, 27 March 2021: “Lese majeste suspect ‘Justin’ denied bail

Prachatai, 24 March 2021: “A protester well-known for wearing croptop arrested at night, temporary detained

Prachatai, 25 November 2020: “Lèse majesté returns as an activist summoned, 11 more expected to follow