Protest leaders doubt media rumors that jailed protesters would accept plea deal for bail

The remaining protest leaders that have not been arrested told Thai Enquirer this week that they do not believe local news reports that some of the detained protestors in jail are willing to stop talking about the royal institution if the court would grant them bail.

Local media reported this week that three detained protest leaders who are being held for lese-majeste charge provided such statement during their trial in court on Monday.

The three named by media were Jatupat “Pai Daodin” Boonpattararaksa, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Morlum Bank” Saraiyaem.

“I do not believe Pai, Somyot and Morlum Bank said that,” said Tatchapong Gaedum, an anti-coup and Save-Bang Kloi activist who said he has known and worked with Pai for a long time.

“I have not seen any evidence that these three have said anything like that,” he told Thai Enquirer.

Tatchapong said his friends are still fighting because they believe what they have said about the need to reform the royal institution.

“For example, the lese-majeste law should not be too vague where any one can sue anyone and the punishment is too harsh,” he said.  

“The law is also being used as a political tool so it should be amended because people with good intention towards the institution are now actually being jailed because of it,” he said.

Tatchapong said the current problems that involve the detained protestors are with the lese-majeste law, the government that enforces it and the judicial system that currently denying the detained protestors the right to bail.

Nineteen people are incarcerated awaiting trial.

Most of those are protest leaders charged with sedition and violation of the lese majeste laws.

“There is definitely no way that Pai and Somyot would say anything like that, they are fighters” said Benjar Apun, a protest leader from the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD).

Somyot just said that he prefers to be executed because he is sick and tired of the unfair justice system. He will never say that he would stop talking about what he believes in exchange for his freedom, she added.  

“You can forget that Pai would ever say anything like that because Pai will always be Pai and both of them have been talking about this long before any of us did,” she said.

Pai was previously incarcerated for two and a half year for sharing a BBC Thai’s profile of HM the King Maha Vajiralongkorn.


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