Ekachai Hongkangwan: “It’s not difficult to adjust, I still question why they prevented me from turning myself in”

“I am in Zone 1, which is where newly-arrived inmates are held. I live along with Somyot and another inmate convicted of, three of us in a holding cell. It is cool in the prison now, and thus better than during the hot season. My only gripe is the interruption of my sleep as the lights are turned on all the time. It gives me a headache. I have yet to provide a list of visitors to the prison, and I desperately want to get out of here as soon as I can.”

“The reason I have been doing all these activities is because I believe they can be done within the confines of the law. Even though I know that the law is not fair, I am willing to act within its bounds. I just participated in a demonstration and did not commit any violence. Then, they used violence to prevent me from turning myself in.”

“I was aware of the arrest warrants issued against me and Bunkueanun around 5 pm on 15 October. At 7 pm, I contacted the police at Lad Phrao Police Station and intended to turn myself in at 9 am on Friday, 16 October. I even posted it to Facebook.”

“Then, around 8 am on 16 October, I posted to my Facebook that I would not wait for the police from Lad Phrao Police Station. Instead, I would turn myself in to Dusit Police Station since it is the police station where I have to answer to the charges. I even told my lawyer to meet me at Dusit Police Station. I felt like a plan was being made to prevent me from turning myself in, at either the Lad Phrao or Dusit Police Stations. I was being framed. They planned to arrest me at Lad Phrao and had my arrest record prepared there. This was the case even though I repeatedly told the police that I was on my way to turn myself in at Dusit Police Station.”

“Everything was framed and it was a setup. They must have come to my neighborhood earlier. Otherwise, how could the police know which car I was in that morning? The police from Lad Phrao Police Station must have come around here to keep a watch on me. They made sure that I would not have access to my lawyer since I would be busy arguing with the officials about my intention to turn myself in.”

“What happened was like a dream. As to the charges and the alleged circumstance against me, I affirm that they are not true. It has been entirely fabricated. On that day, I had no idea at all that a royal motorcade was coming where I stayed. The officials approached me, and everyone thought it was part of the enhanced security protocol as there was a demonstration there. I am still confused about the existence of such a charge. But I will fight on.”

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Ekachai Hongkangwan was imprisoned at the Bangkok Remand Prison for two years and eight months after being convicted for violating Article 112. He was alleged to have sold VCDs featuring a documentary by ABC Australia about the Thai monarchy and distributed documents released by Wikileaks.

Most recently, he is accused of violating Article 110 of the Criminal Code for an act of “conspiring to commit violence against the queen’s liberty”. The alleged incident took place in the area where protesters converged with the passing royal motorcade on 14 October  2020. The Criminal Court denied him bail, even after an attempt was made to post bail by depositing government savings bank bonds worth one million baht.

Ekachai is receiving legal representation from lawyers from United Lawyers for Rights & Liberty. On 22 October, a motion challenging the remand order was filed with the Criminal Court. He was being incarcerated for 18 days before the court eventually ruled to dismiss the motion calling to detain the suspect in custody submitted by the inquiry official for the third time. He was released along with Arnon Nampa and Somyot Prueksakasemsuk.

 

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“We cannot live like this, we cannot live in a society like this”: “Pai Dao Din” yells from behind the bars

The cases continue: Arnon was brought from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to acknowledge another allegation against him