Attorney, university professors seek bail for leaders of pro-democracy Ratsadon group

An attorney, along with university professors, are seeking the release of pro-democracy leaders from jail by requesting bail at Thailand’s Criminal Court. The attorney from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Kritsadang Nutcharas, joined with professors from Bangkok’s Thammasat and Mahidol universities to request the release of 3 of the Ratsadon group’s core members.

Kritsadang says the families of Rung, Penguin, and Pai Daodin, agreed that professors should attend court, to explain why the leaders needed to be granted bail. He says the 3 are still enrolled at universities and need to finish their final year of studies.

He says, so far, they have pooled bonds of up to 500,000 baht for each leader’s bail to assure the court that the accused will not flee or cause any other harm. The Ratsadon leaders were previously denied bail, after being arrested on lèse majesté charges related to the protests in front of Thammasat University and Sanam Luang on September 19 and 20 of last year.

Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has also clarified that foreign students can, indeed, take part in political gatherings provided they follow the law. The news comes after The Asian Institute of Technology sent an email to its students saying it respected freedom of expression but was conveying a request from Thai immigration for foreign students not to join protests.

The issue email caused quite a confusion with foreign ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat, saying the AIT may have been suffering from a “miscommunication” when the Immigration Bureau sent letters to all educational institutes in the area, advising students to be careful joining mass gatherings for fears over Covid-19 spreading.

“Please be assured that the Immigration Bureau has never issued an order to ban foreign students from political gatherings. We only want them to be careful about the pandemic. The bureau understands well about people’s rights under the Thai constitution.”

Thailand’s political landscape has been noted by many international agencies with the US based Freedom House, a democracy advocacy group, choosing to downgrade Thailand from being “partly free” to “not free” in its latest global rankings.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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