A further 18 pro-democracy activists, including 3 protest leaders, may face prosecution

PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review

A human rights lawyer says a further 18 political activists, including 3 leaders of the Ratsadon pro-democracy group, may face prosecution. Noraseth Nanongtoom from the Centre for Human Rights Lawyers says the activists will appear before prosecutors today, where they face charges related to the September 19 and 20 protests at Thammasat University and Sanam Luang in Bangkok.

3 protest leaders, Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul, Panupong Jardnok, and Chatupat Boonpattharaksa have been charged with various offences including violation of Thailand’s strict lèse majesté law, which prohibits insulting, criticising, or defaming the monarchy.

According to a Thai PBS World report, Noraseth says he plans to ask for a delay to indictment proceedings for the 18 accused, to give police more time to question defence witnesses. It’s understood a number of university lecturers and MPs from the opposition Kao Klai party are willing to act as bail guarantors for the 18. However, there is no guarantee that the court will agree to bail, particularly in the case of the 3 charged with lèse majesté offences.

Panasaya, Panupong, and Chatupat are all considered repeat offenders, in the same category as another 4 detained activists who have had their bail requests turned down. Parit Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Somyos Prueksakasemsook, and Patiwat Saraiyaem have had their bail applications rejected by both the Criminal and Appeals Court on the grounds that they are repeat offenders and may pose a flight risk.

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SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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