BANGKOK — The Criminal Court on Thursday turned down a request by the police to arrest five pro-democracy activists responsible for Monday’s march to the German Embassy.
The request was made on Wednesday by Thung Maha Mek police station, who sought to charge the activists with sedition and slap them with arrest warrants. But the court ruled on Thursday morning that the rally took place for a brief time, and there is no evidence that the suspects might flee the country.
The judges also advised the police to summon the activists for questioning before applying for the arrest warrants.
The five people marked for prosecution were identified by court documents as Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon, 25; Korakoch Saengyenpan, 28; Chanin Wongsri, 20; Chollathit Chotisawat, 21; and Benja Arpan, 21.
They were charged with inciting insurrection, a crime punishable by up to seven years in prison under Article 116 of the Criminal Codes.
The five activists stand accused of organizing Monday’s demonstration from Samyan Intersection to the German Embassy, where they submitted a petition asking the German government to investigate whether any Thai citizen exercised sovereign power on German soils.
The activists also read out the petition to the crowd in Thai, English, and German. Due to legal concerns, Khaosod English cannot republish the statement in full.
The rally concluded peacefully at about 9pm, after German ambassador Georg Schmidt reportedly met with the activists and accepted their petition.