Monarchy reform protesters bailed

2 06 2021

After a very long time, Thai PBS has reported that the “Criminal Court has granted conditional release for three anti-establishment Ratsadon protest leaders, Anon Nampa, Panupong Jadnok, alias Mike Rayong, and Chukiart ‘Justin’ Saengwong.”112 logo

That’s good news but questions remain why it took so long. We think it is because a groveling undertaking was required. Add in the virus raging through prisons and lese majeste repression has another meaning.

We make this observation because it is reported that the Criminal Court “was satisfied with Chukiart’s past record, in that he did not attempt to evade arrest nor were there any indications that he would try to escape if he were to be released on bail.” That would have been the same weeks ago when the court considered bail for him.  But, he also “gave a written undertaking to comply with the bail conditions [ imposed by the court and the court found the guarantor, who posted property worth about 200,000 for bail surety, to be trustworthy.”

The conditions are that “he does not get involved in activities which may deemed offensive to the monarchy, participate in a protest which may cause unrest, leave the country without authorization from the court and reports to the court as required.”

Anon and Panupong, were “released on the same terms and conditions.”





Updated: Siraphop denied 112 bail

9 05 2021

Prachatai reports that Thai Lawyers for Human Rights tweeted that, on 6 May 2021, Srinakharinwirot University student activist Siraphop Phumphuengphut has been “denied bail and detained pending trial on a section 112 charge…”. He also faces a sedition charge. The court ruled that his case was serious, involving the monarchy and national security.

The public prosecutor filed cases against Siraphop and fellow activist Chukiat Saengwong or Justin. The latter is already held without bail and tested positive for COVID-19 several days ago.

Update: The Bangkok Post reports that bail was later granted to Siraphop. It states:

…Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said yesterday the Bangkok South Criminal Court has granted bail to Siripob Phumpuengput, co-leader of a student-led protest sub-group called Mor Sor Wor Khon Roon Plien.

Mr Siripob, who is another one facing indictment for lese majeste, was released on the condition he must not organise or join activities which tarnish the reputation of the monarchy and cannot leave the country.





Further updated: “Justice” kills

6 05 2021

There’s increasing concern about hunger strikers and political prisoners Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, including well-meaning calls from some for them to not die when seeking justice.

Sadly, it is becoming clear that the regime is callous and savage. More, we know that the king has a say in whether the lese majeste is used or not. We also know that he is savage in dealing with those he thinks have been disrespectful – look at how he has treated his various wives and Vajiralongkorn’s mad and furious tone in his official declarations when he sacks people.

It gets worse. It is now confirmed that another political prisoner, Arnon Nampa, has fallen ill with the Covid virus “and been moved for medical treatment” at the Medical Correctional Institution. The virus appears to be infecting many inmates and may be out of control.

Coronation 1

Arnon is the second political prisoner to have contracted the virus while incarcerated. The first was Chukiat “Justin” Saengwong.

All prisoners are now under threat, but that these political prisoners are at risk is yet another example of the politicization and monarchization of the (in)justice system. After all, the junta’s constitution states at Article 29:

A suspect or defendant in a criminal case shall be presumed innocent, and before the passing of a final judgment convicting a person of having committed an offence, such person shall not be treated as a convict.

In lese majeste cases, there is a presumption of guilt.

The question must be asked again and again: why is that these activists are not receiving justice? What is it or who is it preventing justice? WHo is it who doesn not care if they die? Who is it that relishes this savage and feudal treatment of young Thais?

No wonder hundreds of thousands of young Thais have joined a Facebook group that displays their dismay and that they have lost faith in many of the country’s institutions.

The military, the mafia regime, and the monarchy are destroying the country while they and their friends eat it.

Update1 : Some good news: “The Criminal Court has approved bail for the temporary release of Rassadon co-leader Panusaya ‘Rung’ Sithijirawattanakul on condition that she must not get involved in activities deemed to dishonour the monarchy.” Who knows what the latter condition means.In addition, “she must not join any activity that may cause unrest in the country, leave the country without permission and must report to the court as scheduled.”

The court appeared unable to make a decision without getting advice-cum-orders from on high: “After an inquiry into her bail request on Thursday morning, the court first scheduled handing down the decision at 3pm but later rescheduled it twice to 4pm and 5pm.” We take that delay as confirmation that the court gets it order from the regime and/or the palace.

Update 2: Despite the virus outbreak in prisons and at least two political prisoners already infected, Parit Chiwarak has been transferred “from Ramathibodi Hospital back to prison … after his health improved.” The danger to him is made clear by the courts themselves, which refuse to hear these defendants for fear of the virus. Parit’s court appearance, and that for Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan, have been postponed “because the two defendants will not complete their 14-day quarantine until tomorrow. Prison officials said both have to be screened again, to make sure they are clear of the virus, before they will be allowed to attend the hearing.” This amounts to protecting judges and other officials – which is reasonable – but keeping political prisoners in dangerous conditions.





Callous and savage

30 04 2021

While not unexpected, the report by Prachatai that the Criminal Court has again denied bail for seven activists detained on lese majeste charges is to be lamented as yet another demonstration that the judicial system is deeply flawed.

These political prisoners are Panupong Jadnok, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, Chaiamorn Kaewwiboonpan, Arnon Nampa, Chukiat Saengwong and Parinya Cheewinkulpahtom.

Penguin and Rung

Clipped from The Nation

Parit has now been detained for more than 80 days. He remains on a partial hunger strike that began some 45 days ago to protest the injustice of the system and the denial of bail for detained activists.

Lawyer Kritsadang Nutcharat of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said:

…one of the reasons for requesting bail is concern over the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, because even the court is concerned that the virus will spread among court officials. He also said that there is no more reason to keep the activists in detention, and that it would be acceptable if the court set a condition related with their trial. He also mentioned that the court previously granted bail for activists Jatupat Boonpattaraksa and Somyot Pruksakasemsuk.

Kritsadang expressed considerable concern for Penguin and “also requested that the court allow Parit to be taken to Rama 9 Hospital for 30 days, because the hospital is better equipped than the Medical Correctional Institution…”.

The court demonstrated its inhumanity by dismissing the request. It is as though the courts take their orders from savage and vindictive higher-ups.

Kritsadang revealed that:

he visited Parit on 28 April and spoke to him through teleconference. During the visit, Parit told Kritsadang that he has not been able to sleep, his skin is dry, and that he suffers from nausea and fatigue. Blood was also found in his stools, but he has not been sent to the Medical Correctional Institution to have his condition assessed.

The court exhibited a callous disregard for the detainee’s health.

Meanwhile the “Department of Corrections has denied that Parit’s condition has worsened…”.

The ruling to deny bail was “signed by judge Tawan Rodcharoen. Judge Tawan delivered the verdict in the Joe Gordon lèse majesté case in 2011.” Joe had repeated bail requests denied. When he finally agreed to plead guilty and he was sentenced to 5 years.

The Bangkok Post reports that the Corrections Department has said that Parit is “physically well.” It quotes Department deputy director-general Thawatchai Chaiwat from Thursday, stating that “Parit could talk and was well and conscious. He was tired and had dry lips, but was not dizzy.” Thawatchai added that Panusaya who is also rejecting “food and took only drinking water, minerals, juice and milk,” is also “well, conscious, looked normal, talked understandably and was able to do her routines…”.

The lie in this is demonstrated. Parit is now hospitalized. The very same Corrections Department now states that Parit “was admitted over concerns he could go into shock if his condition worsened and require specialised care.”

TLHR warns that both Parit and Panusaya “are in deteriorating health…”.

Parit faces 20 lese majeste charges “which could result in a sentence of 300 years.” Meanwhile, “Panusaya faces nine cases under the law, which could lead to a 135-year sentence if convicted.”





Another 112 political prisoner

29 04 2021

Yet another activist has been “detained pending trial” on a lese majeste charge.

Wanwalee Thammasattaya has been detained on an Article 112 charge stemming from a protest on 6 December 2020.

On 27 April 2021, the “public prosecutor filed a case against Wanwalee and activist Chukiat ‘Justin’ Saengwong in a royal defamation charge relating to speeches given during a protest at Wongwian Yai” on that day. Chukiat is already “detained pending trial on another Section 112 charge. He has been in prison since 23 March.”

In addition, a minor, “Thanakorn (last name withheld), 17, is also facing charges in the same case, but as he is a minor, his case is being processed by the Central Juvenile and Family Court.” He is due “to report to the prosecutor on 24 May 2021 to hear whether the prosecutor will file a case against him.”

The complaints against them that have led to charges were “filed by Chakrapong Klinkaew, leader of the royalist group People Protecting the Institution.”

It was the Thonburi Criminal Court that “ordered Wanwalee to be detained pending trial, and denied her request for bail with a security of 200,000 baht on the ground that the plaintiff objected to granting her bail and that she is likely to flee, since she is facing several counts on the same charge.”

Wanwalee has two other 112 charges “for a speech given at a protest in front of the Siam Commercial Bank headquarters on 25 November 2020 and [another] for posting a picture of a protest banner containing a message about the monarchy on her Facebook page on 21 November 2020.”

She is “detained at the Thonburi Women Correctional Institution, making her the 17th person to be detained pending trial in cases relating to political expression.” Ten of those face lese majeste charges.





Updated: Another 112 incarceration

24 03 2021

The Bangkok Post reports on yet another lese majeste incarceration.

Chukiat  Saengwong, also known as Justin, a member of the Ratsadon group, has been arrested on lese majeste and a slew of other charges including sedition.The charges relate to several protests, with the most recent being on March 20.

Clipped from Prachatai

Police allege that at last Saturday’s 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 premises.”

The police claim his “action was recorded by a security camera…”. Soon after, “protesters allegedly set fire to the portrait…”.

Chukiat has denied all charges.

The court approved a police request to detain Chukiat for 12 days. A bail application was rejected, with the court claiming that, if released, Chukiat “may commit similar offences again.”

The royalist judiciary continues to carry out its orders.

Update: Prachatai also reports on Chukiat’s case. It states that his bail was refused because of “the seriousness of the charge, the heavy penalty, and the fact that the accused committed similar offences after previously being allowed bail…”. A Thai Lawyers for Human Rights lawyer met “Chukiat at 00.54 on 23 March, tweeted that the police tried to interrogate Chukiat with a lawyer that they assigned to him and confiscated his phone. Because he objected to this, the police had him handcuffed [him]…”. Chukiat sent a message to supporters “to fight on and not to worry about him.”

Among protesters, “Chukiat became well known for his speeches and public appearances in protests where he wore a crop top. The nickname ‘Justin’ comes from Justin Bieber, a famous singer who wears crop tops.”