Academics call for release on bail of detained protest leaders

Academics call for release on bail of detained protest leaders

Academics representing 255 lecturers at 31 education estabishments read out a statement in front of Bangkok Remand Prison on Monday, calling for the release on bail of four pro-democracy activists now in detention. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Academics representing 255 lecturers at 31 education estabishments read out a statement in front of Bangkok Remand Prison on Monday, calling for the release on bail of four pro-democracy activists now in detention. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Four academics claiming to represent 255 lecturers at 31 education establishments read out a statement in front of Bangkok Remand Prison on Monday morning, calling for the release on bail of four pro-democracy activists currently in detention.

The four are Prachak Kongkirati, Yukti Mukdawichit and Boonlert Wisetpreecha from Thammasat University and Puangthong Pawakrapan from Chulalongkorn University.

Four key activists of the Ratsadorn group (the People's Movement) - Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, Arnon Nampa, Somyos Prueksakasemsuk and Patiwat Saraiyaem - have been denied bail and are being detained at Bangkok Remand Prison.  They face altogether 11 charges relating to demonstrations at Thammasat University and Sanam Luang on Sept 19-20, 2019. They have been detained since Feb 9.

The charges include committing lese majeste under Section 112 and sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code, and violation of the emergency decree and the Public Assembly Act.

Mr Prachak, deputy dean of the faculty of political science at Thammasat University, read out the statement, which was signed by the 255 lecturers, calling for the release on bail of the four suspects, citing universal human rights.

He said if Mr Parit, a Thammasat University student, in particular, was detained until the cases against him were over, his studies would be affected.

The academics brought with them text books and documents to give to Mr Parit to study while in detention.

Only one person, Krisdang Nutcharat of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, was allowed inside the prison to visit the four suspects.

Mr Prachak said the lecturers would continue with their campaign if the four were not released.

They also would be at the Criminal Court on Wednesday to provide assistance for another 14 protesters due to be arraigned in court.

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