Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Students seek inquiry into bail rejection for jailed activist

Jan 10. 2017
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By THE NATION

A GROUP of student activists submitted a petition yesterday signed by more than 3,500 people to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), asking it to look into rejections of bail requests for Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, who was charged last month with violating the lese majeste law and Computer Crime Act.

Jatupat was charged on December 3 with violating the two laws after he shared a BBC Thai report about the monarchy on his Facebook page. The article was shared by more than 2,000 people. He was released on Bt400,000 bail the following day. 

However, an investigator from Khon Kaen police filed a petition with the court, saying that Jatupat continued to incite the public on social media and could disrupt evidence if left unattended. Further posts on his Facebook page after the release were seen to have ridiculed authorities.

The court ruled he had broken the bail agreement that banned him from getting involved in drugs, tampering with evidence or causing damage after being released. The Appeal Court upheld the first court’s ruling, and the Supreme Court ruled last week that both courts’ rulings were lawful. He is now on his fourth 12-day round of detention.

Rangsiman Rome, a member of the anti-coup New Democracy Movement, led the group that met the NHRC yesterday. Rangsiman said Jatupat’s requests for temporary release on bail were submitted several times but rejected, despite the fact the student activist needed to sit an exam to complete his bachelor’s degree. 

Rejecting the requests, Rangsiman claimed, contravened an international commitment in regard to universal human rights.

Rangsiman said the group would also step up their activities to free Jatupat, while Jatupat’s lawyers were exploring further legal options. 

The group will also ask the University of Khon Kaen, where Jatupat is a student, to arrange an exam for him in jail.

Rights Commissioner Angkana Neelapaijit said the agency had received a petition earlier from Jatupat’s father, asking it to look into the judicial process in regard to the rejection of his son’s bail requests. She said the commission would not challenge the courts’ ruling, but a sub-panel would look into the acts of investigators involved in the case, to see if Jatupat’s rights had been violated.

 

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