October 30, 2020

Court of Appeal denies bail for protest leader Arnon

Court of Appeal denies bail for protest leader Arnon



Arnon Nampha on the stage during the rally at Sanam Luang on Sept 19. (Photo: Amornthep Chotchalermpong)

The Court of Appeal has denied bail for anti-government protest leader Arnon Nampha, who is charged with sedition over the rally at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campaus and at Sanam Luang on Sept 19-20.

The court upheld the lower court’s refusal to allow the temporary release of the human rights lawyer. The decison was read out at the Criminal Court on Wednesday, according to Thai media reports, but not made public until Friday.

Mr Arnon, 37, is charged with sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code in connection with the anti-government demonstration at Thammasat University’s Tha Phrachan campus and Sanam Luang on Sept 19-20.

On Oct 27, Chana Songkram police took him to the Criminal Court and obtained permission  to detain him. His lawyers applied for bail, but it was denied. They appealed. 

The Court of Appeal denied bail on the grounds  the alleged offences could lead to damage or disruption with a wider impact. In taking to the rally stage, the accused had persuaded people to destroy state property without respect for the law.

The court also took into consideration police investigators’ opposition to the suspect’s release on bail because he also faced similar charges filed by other police stations.If he was released on bail, he might cause more damage or try to flee.

The court found the lower court’s decision to refuse bail was justified.

Mr Arnon is being detained at Bangkok Remand Prison.  

On Sept 20, pro-democracy protesters staged a ceremony to install a plaque at Sanam Luang declaring the people’s power and ownership of the country. It was removed by unknown people next morning.

The original plaque marked the 1932 Revolution, which overthrew the absolute monarchy and ushered in a constitutional monarchy, and was planted on the ground at the Royal Plaza.

It was removed without explanation in 2017, three years after the military took power in a coup, and no one in authority has ever said why or what happened to it.



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