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Protest leader asks court to look into late-night attempts to remove 2 activists from cells

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Facebook / ทนายอานนท์ นำภา - Arnon Nampa

Human rights lawyer and prominent pro-democracy activist, Anon Nampa, has called on the Criminal Court to investigate alleged attempts to remove 2 detained activists from their cells at Bangkok Remand Prison. Anon says the suspicious activity took place on Monday night, with a group of unidentified men trying 3 times to remove the activists, telling them they needed to be taken for Covid-19 testing. The last attempt took place at 2am.

Anon has appealed in writing to the Criminal Court to investigate the matter. He says the men first removed other detainees from the prison, leaving him and 6 other pro-democracy activists in their cells. They are Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Piyarat “Toto” Chongthep, Patiwat Saraiyaem, Somyos Prueksakasemsook, Panupong Jadnok, also known as “Mike Rayong”, and Chatupat Boonpatthararaksa, aka, “Pai Dao Din”.

According to a Thai PBS World report, the men, each of whom was carrying a truncheon, returned at around 9.30pm and tried to remove Chatupat and Panupong. The detainees were told they needed to be taken for Covid-19 testing, but their fellow activists intervened, suspicious as to why such testing would be carried out at night. According to Anon, the men returned another 3 times until around 2am, trying to remove Chatupat and Panupong.

The lawyer representing the detained pro-democracy activists says he plans to petition the Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsuthin, and the Corrections Department, to secure a guarantee that his clients will be kept safe. Krisdang Nutcharat adds that he will once again request bail for the activists, saying Monday’s incident bears all the hallmarks of intimidation and threatens the safety of his clients.

The 7 activists have had their requests for bail denied multiple times. Parit Chiwarak has threatened to go on hunger strike if the defendants are not released on bail as has been customary with others facing similar charges in the past.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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