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.”





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.