Office of Judiciary calls for legal action against Redem protesters

Office of Judiciary calls for legal action against Redem protesters

A protester prepares to throw a tomato as anti-government demonstrators call for the release of detained political activists, outside the Criminal Court on Sunday. (Photo: AFP)
A protester prepares to throw a tomato as anti-government demonstrators call for the release of detained political activists, outside the Criminal Court on Sunday. (Photo: AFP)

The Office of the Judiciary has called for legal action against members of the Restart Democracy (Redem) group who on Sunday night protested in front of the Criminal Court for the release on bail of leading activists of the Ratsadon movement detained on lese majeste and other charges.

In a statement released on Monday, the office said the courts of justice, in deliberating legal cases and issuing orders, gave importance to the rights and liberties of the people regarding expression of opinion.

The courts were also open to opinions from all parties to improve the country's justice system.

However, on the night of May 2, a group of people protesting in front of the Criminal Court building resorted to violence. They hurled objects and fired projectiles into the court's premises and used fireworks and explosives in a threatening manner, the statement said.

The action taken by the protesters not only caused damage to government property but also threatened physical harm to offcials providing security for the court's premises, it said.

The statement said the protesters' use of violence was intended to pressure the court to make decisions or issue orders in their favour, regardless of the principle of law, aiming to ruin the independence of the judiciary.

The protesters had also exploited the social media to spur violence and unrest. This was not an exercise of rights and liberties under the constitution and a democracy.

In the statement, the Office of the Judiciary called for law-enforcing authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and take strict legal action against the protesters if there was sufficient evidence of law violations.

A group of protesters of the Redem movement walked from Victory Monument to the Criminal Court on Ratchaphisek Road on Sunday night, showing their opposition to the court's decision not to grant bail to protest leaders.

They sprayed paint on the signage outside the court, flashed the three-finger salute and threw objects, including some fireworks, into the grounds. The protest ended after a running clash with riot police.

The protest came after the court on Thursday rejected the bail requests of seven co-leaders. They included Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, who was admitted to Ramathibodi Hospital on Friday for treatment of his deteriorating health. He began a hunger strike on March 16.

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