Thai student activist released on bail
Bangkok, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- Thai student activist Parit Chaiwarak was released on bail on Saturday, telling the media at the courthouse gates that he plans to attend Sunday’s demonstration in Bangkok.
Human rights organizations have demanded the withdrawal of all charges against activist Parit, one of the leaders of the student movement that has demonstrated since July, calling for democratic reforms in Thailand.
“Each new arrest of a peaceful pro-democracy activist shows the Thai government’s authoritarian tendencies and lack of respect for human rights,” said Human Rights Watch Asia Director Brad Adams on Saturday.
Amnesty International said this situation in Thailand is yet another example of authorities trying to repress the people’s right to protest peacefully.
Parit, who broadcast his August 14 arrest live on his Facebook profile, faces accusations of violating the government’s ban on public gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the crime of sedition, among others, which carry prison sentences of up to seven years.
Last week, police also arrested two student leaders, Anon Nampa and Panupong Jadnok, in Bangkok for the same charges as Parit, but they were also released on bail a day later.
Arrest warrants were issued for around 30 activists when students announced a new mass demonstration at the Thai capital’s iconic Democracy Monument for Sunday.
Since protests began on July 18 in Bangkok, they continue almost daily across Thailand with students calling for the dissolution of parliament and a new constitution to end the hegemony of the country’s pro-military and ultra-monarchic elite.
Last Monday, one of the organizing groups issued a series of 10 demands calling for the reduction of King Vajiralongkorn’s power.
Criticism of the monarch is extremely rare in Thailand, due in part to the Lèse-majesté law, one of the strictest in the world, which punishes insults towards the royal family with up to 15 years in prison. EFE-EPA