Police at Samran Rat police station had rearrested the two key protest leaders, 35-year-old Mr Arnon Nampa and 24-year-old Panupong Jadnok for breach of their bail terms. Mr Panupong, on Sunday, set alight a legal notice in front of a senior officer in Samut Prakan in a provocative gesture as he claimed the law and the order were unconstitutional.
Two key protest leaders opted to be jailed in front of the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Thursday in advance of a major protest scheduled for two weeks. 35-year-old human rights lawyer Mr Arnon sent a note from the court building saying his duty and work was now inside prison walls and called for people to rally to the support of the movement.
The two protest leaders appeared to insist on being sent to jail on Thursday when they appeared before the Criminal Court in Bangkok.
The human rights lawyer, to the fore of this latest round of anti-government, student-led protests, Arnon Nampa and Panupong Jadnok, another vocal activist who set alight a legal notice presented to him by police in Samut Prakan on Sunday, were brought before the court from Samrat Rat police station.
Police sought to resolve bail because of the men’s continued involvement in unrest activities
The police asked the court to revoke the bail for both accused because of their continued involvement in the unrest and breach of the law including what officers see as a repetition of offences for which they are charged including a Section 116 charge for sedition.
The two men appeared in two separate courts. In one, Mr Nampa’s bail was revoked.
However, the court suggested that he may be at liberty to apply for bail again. Significantly, his legal representative did not pursue an application for bail.
Human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa claims that the law is being used to intimidate people
The lawyer is reported to have sent a note from the court building to his followers suggesting that his duty, for now, was to be incarcerated and called for public support of a rally planned by the ‘Free People’ group for the 19th September 2020.
‘Let my detention today be proof of the intimidation of people. Let’s get back at them come Sept 19, 2020,’ he said
Judge gave 24-year-old Mr Panupong a second chance but he chose to go to prison and declined
At the same time, in another court chamber, 24-year-old protest leader Mr Panupong also appeared before a judge. The judge appeared to have some empathy for his situation and was willing to give him another chance.
‘Given his age, profession and the act cited as the reason to revoke his bail, the damage had not been done to the case and the accused deserved another chance,’ the judge observed.
At the same time, the court raised the surety on the bail to ฿200,000. It also stipulated that Mr Panupong, also known as ‘Mike Rayong’, must report to the court every 15 days.
The by now well-known protest leader also did not pursue the terms set for renewed bail.
Both men were taken to Bangkok Remand Prison.
Two men are among the most active leaders in the political protests that sprang to life on July 18th last
The two men were the first to be arrested in connection with the July 18th protest and political rally which took authorities by surprise. They were arrested on August 7th and later, both men were released on bail. Mr Arnon has since been arrested a total of three times.
The man, like dozens of others, is facing a range of charges from minor public order offences to illegal assembly and breaches of the emergency decree.
The most serious is the charge under Section 116 of the criminal code for sedition which could see both men jailed for up to seven years or even face consecutive jail terms.