The pro-democracy activist and anti-government protest leader, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, has had her bail extended, according to a Thai PBS World report. Yesterday, the Bangkok South Criminal Court ruled to extend bail for Panusaya, as well as lifting conditions that had prohibited the young student from leaving her home.
Panusaya, one of the leaders of the pro-democracy Ratsadon group, has been a key figure in the anti-government protests that have been taking place on and off across Thailand since 2020. She is awaiting trial at Bangkok South Criminal Court on charges of lèse majesté or violation of section 112 of the Criminal Code. Thailand’s lèse majesté law is one of the world’s strictest and prohibits criticising, defaming, or otherwise insulting the monarchy.
Panusaya is to stand trial on lèse majesté charges after wearing a crop top at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon mall in December 2020. She had words written on her abdomen which have been deemed insulting to the monarchy. Violation of section 112 carries some tough penalties, including up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Panusaya’s bail was due to expire yesterday, but the court has agreed to extend it until May 25 and allow the student to leave her home between the hours of 6am and 6pm, removing a 24-hour curfew previously imposed. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights say all other bail conditions remain unchanged. The group has welcomed the court’s decision, saying it spares Panusaya from being returned to prison.
Thai PBS World reports that today, the activist will appear before the Criminal Court and the Ayutthaya Provincial Court, with both courts expected to issue orders related to other charges against her.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World