Wed, October 20, 2021

in-focus

Pro-democracy activists Arnon, Phanuphong freed after global outcry


Pro-democracy activists Arnon Nampa and Phanuphong Chadnok were today freed by the Criminal Court following five days in Bangkok Remand Prison after police withdrew a request for their detention.

Samranat police said they cancelled the request because their investigation of the two men had gathered enough facts.

Arnon and Phanuphong were detained on August 7 and charged with sedition, violating the emergency decree’s ban on gatherings and other offences, for participating at a July 18 rally at Democracy Monument. The pair were released on bail the next day, but then jailed on September 3 after the court ruled they had broken bail conditions by continuing to attend and organise rallies.

Arnon was permitted to reapply for bail and Phanuphong to pay Bt200,000 surety for his release, but both refused the conditions.

Domestic and global rights groups demanded their release and called on the government to respect people’s right to protest peacefully and not use the law to gag critics. Amnesty International urged its members worldwide to send letters to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, calling for Arnon and Phanuphong to be freed.

The government and police have defended the activists’ detention as necessary under the law.

Published : September 07, 2020

By : The Nation