The Criminal Court has approved bail requests for nine people, including lawyer Anon Nampa and two rappers, arrested over the past 20 hours for their roles in the July 18 and Aug 3 rallies.
The court allowed the use of officials' positions as a guarantee for their temporary releases. Three Move Forward Party MPs, two Pheu Thai Party MPs and four academics were the guarantors.
In the latest crackdown on political demonstrators, five more people, including two rappers, were arrested on Thursday, bringing the total held in connection with the July 18 Free Youth rally to eight over the past 20 hours.
All did not receive summonses and were held on court-approved arrest warrants.
At 8.20am on Thursday, Dechathorn “Hockhacker” Bamrungmuang, a founder and member of RAP Against Dictatorship, was arrested in front of his house. The band’s Prathet Ku Mee has become the anthem for anti-coup activities in recent years.
According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Dechathorn was taken by police in the presence of his wife and young son. He was brought to Samran Rat police station.
An hour later, activist Tossaporn Sinsomboon was arrested at his home.
Activist Tanee Sasom was later caught at Soi Rang Nam and taken to Samran Rat police station.
Thirty minutes later, Nattawut Sasomsap was stopped while driving on the Expressway by more than 10 policemen. Some of them accompanied him in his car to Samran Rat police station.
Thanayut “Book” Na Ayudhya, 19, a rapper from Eleven Fingers band, was also taken to the police station.
They acknowledged charges and were sent to the Criminal Court in the afternoon as police seek to detain them.
Their charges are believed to be similar to those faced by three people held earlier — ranging from sedition to violation of the cleanliness law.
Pheu Thai MPs Karun Hosakul said he and his fellow MPs had prepared salary certification letters to be used as sureties for their temporary releases.
On Wednesday evening, human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, 35, was the first to be held in this round of arrests.
Mr Anon, who was released on bail on multiple charges including sedition in connection with the July 18 rally, faced more charges related to another rally on Aug 3 where he talked about the need for monarchy reforms.
The officers pressed charges of violating Section 116 of the Criminal Code; Sections 4,10 and 15 of the Public Assembly Act, using loudspeakers without prior approval and violating the computer crime law.
The officers opposed bail for the human rights lawyer, citing his tendency to join more allegedly inciting rallies.
According to the police request for his detention, Mr Anon’s speech given on Aug 3 allegedly criticised the monarchy and caused hatred for the institution among demonstrators.
Apart from Mr Arnon, three people held on Wednesday night were Suwanna Tanlek, 48, a labour activist who has campaigned for workers’ rights; Baramee Chairat, 53, secretary-general of the Assembly of the Poor; and activist Korakot Saenyenphan, 27. They were arrested separately in Bangkok on Wednesday night on charges of inciting public unrest and other offences related to the July 18 Free Youth rally.
A number of Move Forward MPs showed up to show moral support and offered to use their positions as guarantees for their temporary releases.
In a police request, Mr Baramee posted a message urging people to join the rally at the Democracy Moment. He also gave a speech at around 8.26pm.
Ms Suwanna also addressed the crowd at 8pm and urged demonstrators to send messages to relatives to deliver food. She also shared a post online asking for food and drinking water for the demonstration and urged demonstrators to stay overnight at the rally site, according to the police request.
Mr Korakot had also posted a message urging people to join the rally, said the officers.