More than 580 people associated with recent pro-democracy protests are being prosecuted for alleged violations ranging from littering and obstruction of traffic to sedition and lese-majeste.
Of those, 91 have been charged with violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, one of the world’s strictest lese-majeste laws, which carries a jail sentence of three to 15 years.
The latest wave of pro-democracy demonstrations has been going since June 2020.
Protestors are demanding for Prime Minister General Prayut Chna-ocha and his government to resign, rewrite the junta-drafted charter, reform the royal institution and release pre-trial detainees.
Twenty people are currently incarcerated awaiting trial with their bail requests repeatedly denied. Most of those are protest leaders charged with multiple sedition and lese-majeste.
Five protest leaders charged with lese-majeste were last month released on bail under condition to not arrange any activity against the royal institution, engage in any protest, or attempt to leave the country.
These include Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, co-founders of the main student-led pro-democracy group Ratsadon, and Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, a core member of the 24 June Democracy Group.
Two other detained co-founders of the Ratsadon, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jardnok are scheduled to hear the Criminal Court’s ruling on their latest bail requests on Tuesday.
It would be Penguin’s 11th request since he was jailed on February 9 and he had been on a hunger strike to protest for detained protestors’ right to bail since March 15, or 56 days at the time of writing. He has been extremely weak and unable to walk for several weeks, according to his mother and his lawyers.
In June 2020, King Maha Vajiralongkorn told Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha not to use Section 112 to prosecute civilians.
In November of that year, Prayut said he would use “all laws necessary” to suppress the pro-democracy protestors, in remarks widely reported as meaning Section 112 was back in force.
Of the 91 lese-majeste cases since then, six are against people younger than 18.
Their cases ranged from putting up signs and posting online messages that the plaintiffs say insulted the royal institution, to making political speeches calling for reform.
In the lese-majeste cases, 36 were brought by civilian plaintiffs, eight by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, three by the Office of the Prime Minister and the rest were filed by the police.
Many of the protest leaders are facing multiple charges.
Penguin faces 20 counts of lese-majeste.
Arnon Numpa, another main protest leader, is facing 12 counts. Rung and Mike are facing nine and eight, respectively.
Seven others protest leaders are also facing three or four separate charges each.
Of the 20 people who are in prison awaiting trial, 13 are facing lese-majeste case.
Here is the list of people currently detained.
|Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak||Lese-majeste||February 9|
|Arnon Numpa||Lese-majeste||February 9|
|Nattanon Chaiyamahabutr||Damaging police property||February 24|
|Tawat Sukprasert||Damaging police property||February 24|
|Sakchai Tangjitsadudee||Damaging police property||February 24|
|Chaluay Ekkasak||Damaging police property||February 24|
|Somkid Tosoi||Damaging police property||February 24|
|Chai-amorn “Ammy The Bottom Blues” Kaewwiboonpan||Arson and lese-majeste (for burning the King’s portrait)||March 3|
|Parinya “Port Fai Yen” Cheewinkulpathom||Lese-majeste||March 6|
|Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jardnok||Lese-majeste||March 8|
|Supakorn (last name omitted)||Lese-majeste||March 10|
|Pornchai (last name omitted)||Lese-majeste||March 11|
|Phromsorn “Fah” Weerathamjaree||Lese-majeste||March 17|
|Chukiat “Justin” Sawangwong||Lese-majeste||March 23|
|Sam Samat||Joining a mob, refusing to disperse and resisting arrest||April 16|
|Kritsana (last name omitted)||Joining a secret society with illegal aims||April 27|
|Therdsak (last name omitted)||Joining a secret society with illegal aims||April 27|
|Waanna (last name omitted)||Joining a secret society with illegal aims||April 27|
|Praphan (last name omitted)||Joining a secret society with illegal aims||May 11|
|Lorseegun Niyomdecha||Joining a mob, refusing to disperse and resisting arrest||May 3|
|Hathairat Kaewsrikhram||Joining a mob, refusing to disperse and resisting arrest||May 3|