BANGKOK — Four monarchy-reform protesters said through their attorney on Monday night that they will no longer apply for bail after repeated refusals to grant them bail while they face multiple lese majeste charges. Their attorney, Krisadang Nutcharus said on Tuesday that it will now be up to the criminal court to consider whether to let the four be released so they could have a fair chance to fight the cases or not. The four are Arnon Nampa, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa and Panupong Jadnok.
“The court has the power to end the temporary detention. I will continue to assist [the defendants] but they think the court no longer wants to let them out on bail,” said Krisadang on the phone Tuesday. On Monday night, Krisadang posted a message from the four which partly stated the repeated bail denials bereft them of the right to prepare themselves to fight a fair trial and goes against the international obligations Thailand has to the international community.
For others, like Chiang Mai-based political activist Pipob Udomittipong has been staging a protest along with ten other activists demanding for their release at Thae Pae area in Chiang Mai for over 130 days now.
Pipob said on the phone Tuesday that it will now be up to those outside the prison to show strength in order to convince the criminal court to release the four.
“It will be 131 consecutive days today. I respect their decision to not apply for bail any longer. What happened is not beyond expectation… We shall see more applied pressure from the outside,” said Pipob, adding however that the fears for COVID-19 infections and the economy means less people are joining monarchy-reform protests these days.
“As many as 200 to 300 motorists flash three fingers in support of the movement when they pass us, however. Only three to four will give us a middle finger. That means there’s still a lot of interest but they couldn’t express themselves due to COVID-19 and the economy. I wouldn’t demand their right to bail but for their release as their right to bail is a right and a given.”
Another political activist and former lese majeste convict, Ekachai Hongkangwan, said on Tuesday that he feels for the four.
“I see this not as a tactic but as them accepting their fate, that they won’t be released before the verdicts are handed. They have requested for bail many times and the repeated denials left them with bitterness. They will probably spend next year in prison if not longer. I understand them and those outside the prison must carry on. If they don’t come out onto the streets, the chance of the four being forgotten would increase,” said Ekachai, adding that it’s now up to the powers that be to decide and not the size of the protesters on the streets.