Court of Appeal refuses bail request for 4 pro-democracy activists


4 detained protest leaders, from the pro-democracy Ratsadon group, have had their bail request rejected by the Court of Appeal. Parit Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Patipan Luecha, and Somyot Phrueksakasemsuk have all been declared a flight risk, with the court also citing their violation of the lèse majesté law as a further reason to keep them in custody. They previously had their bail request turned down by the Court of First Instance.

4 academics from Thammasat University and Chulalongkorn University have read out a statement in front of Bangkok Remand Prison, calling for the 4 activists inside to be released. The academics say they represent 255 lecturers, from 31 education establishments. Yesterday, protest leader Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul declared her intention to read a statement at the PM’s Office, the Constitutional Court, the Ministry of Justice, the Criminal Court, and at Royal Thai Police headquarters, in which she too will call for the release of the activists.

Fellow activists have also declared their intention to hold another rally on February 20, if the detained protesters are not released within a week. The Bangkok Post reports that when questioned about the police’s readiness for another protest, police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk couldn’t confirm how many officers might be deployed. He adds that a briefing is planned for February 13, in which officers will explain to the public why violence erupted at last Saturday’s rally.

Prasit Watanapa from the Medical Council of Thailand has condemned the use of violence by both sides at Saturday’s protest, during which a volunteer medic was beaten by riot police. However, Pakkapong Pongpetra, from the Metropolitan Police Bureau, has spoken out in defence of his officers, saying the medic happened to be at the scene of violent clashes. 8 protesters have been arrested and 20 wounded during the rally.

Meanwhile, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has also denounced the violence, saying such developments have a negative impact on Thailand as a whole. He says authorities have the evidence they need to prosecute those responsible and has called on the media to report how anti-government protesters treated security officers at the scene on Saturday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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