Saturday, January 18, 2020
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The seven student activists freed from 12-day detention yesterday are standing firm that they will continue to carry out more protests against the charter draft.

Their lawyer, meanwhile, has vowed to file a petition calling on the Military Court not to try the case against the activists, claiming a civil case was not under its jurisdiction.

Of the seven pro-democracy activists, six were freed yesterday. The remaining one, Korakot Saengyenpan, was taken before the military court’s prosecutor on a separate charge before being freed on bail of Bt20,000, said lawyer Arnont Nampa.

Korakot had been charged separately with breaching the junta’s political gathering ban following his involvement in a trip to probe fraud allegations at Rajabhakti Park.

The seven were released following the court’s decision on Tuesday to dismiss a second round of 12-day detention requested by the police.

Along with six other activists released earlier on bail, they were accused of violating the ban on political gatherings and alleged campaigning against the draft after they handed out leaflets about the draft on June 23.

The seven activists were set free yesterday morning. They were received with cheers by a crowd who offered them roses and garlands when they first appeared in front of the prison’s main entrance. The activists and their supporters sang a song together for freedom.

The activists, led by Rangsiman Rome, declared they stood firm to fight against dictatorship for democracy’s sake, before dispersing.

Meanwhile, the police took Korakot to the court prosecutor to consider whether or not he would be charged and put on trial. Eventually, the prosecutor decided he should be, and he was freed on bail.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan suggested that Corrections officials use clear judgement before chaining detainees on the way to court. There was criticism when the seven activists were found in shackles while travelling to court on Tuesday.

However, Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya said officials had to perform their duties at best to ensure detainees under their supervision would not try to escape. The officials had to stick to legal procedures, he said, urging human rights activists to consider the officials’ side, and not blow up the issue too much.

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