23 citizens-juveniles charged with 28th February protest incident (#ม็อบ28กุมภา) before the court allows the bail.

On 28th February 2021, the police arrested 23 citizens divided into 19 citizens and 4 juveniles whose ages are under 18. The police disbanded the demonstration (#มอ็ บ28กุมภา) held by ‘REDEM’ group, and pressed 6 charges against 22 individuals and 5 charges against a citizen. The arrest took place at Din Daeng Metropolitan Police Station. 

All alleged offenders denied the allegations. Naewna Newspaper journalists were granted bail during custodial interrogation. In terms of the remaining 18 individuals, the Criminal Court set the release at THB 35,000 bail bond. 

The juvenile court permitted the bail of 4 underage alleged offenderss by having the parents of Saichon (pseudonym) put down cash amounted to THB 15,000 as a guarantee. The other 3 could be released on bail without having to provide surety. However, the parents need to sign a bail bond agreement reassuring the alleged offenders’ appearance following the court’s order. Any breach will cost THB 5,000. 

Every suspect was released eventually under the condition of the 19 accused citizens showing up before the Criminal Court on 19th April 2021 at 8.00 AM. and the 4 minors at the Central Juvenile and Family Court on 20th April 2021 at 8.30 AM. 

Police arrested 23 citizens during the protest dissolution 

At 22.50 PM, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Center was informed by Saichon, 16 years old, that he was arrested and was in the police car parked in front of 1st Infantry Regiment. There were also 19 male alleged offenders with him, 2 of them were 16 year-olds. None was informed where the police were taking them. 

According to the video clip released on the Facebook group ‘Coalition of Salaya for Democracy’, all alleged offenders’ hands were tied. Saichon was shot with 3 rubber bullets and he was physically attacked during the arrest. 

At 23.15 PM, the arrestees were confirmed by the police that they were being transported to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau in Pathum Thani province. 22 individuals were charged, including  4 juveniles. 

At the same time, it was reported that the 4 juveniles were separated and brought onto another car. The 18 accused protesters were also isolated into 2 different police vehicles.

Around 00.30 AM., the car transporting the 4 juveniles changed the destination to Sutthisan Police Station while the others were taken to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau. 

4 juveniles were pressed 6 charges including battery against officers although 18-year-old-below alleged offenders were injured by the police’s rubber bullets 

The arrested juveniles were 16-year-old Saichon who was previously charged with violation of Lèse-Majesté or Section 112 because he wore a cropped top to the demonstration’s Runway of the People in front of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple (Wat Khaek) on 29th October 2020 (#มอ็ บ29ตุลา), 15-year-old Pea (pseudonym), 16-year-old C (pseudonym), and 16-year-old Guy (pseudonym). The attorneys and legal advisors later followed them to Sutthisan Police Station. 

Prior to the announcement of the allegations, the police officers brought the arrested minors to receive physical examination as they stated being attacked by the police during the arrest and one of them had a severe chest pain. 

At 4 AM., the juveniles were brought back to Din Daeng Metropolitan Police Station, which is the area where the incident took place, to hear the allegations. The investigating officers briefly described the circumstances as follows: On 28th February 2021 at around 15.30 PM., the alleged offenders gathered around the Victory Monument with other 600-700 individuals. The officials announced the dissolution of the protest as the demonstration violated the implementation of the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Disease Act. Nonetheless, the protesters continued marching towards Din Daeng road in Vibhavadi Rangsit road direction in order to reach the Prime Minister’s residence. 

In response to this, officers of 5-6 troops installed containers and metal thorns to prevent the crowd from marching to the Prime Minister’s residence. The protesters pushed and dragged the obstacles out of the way which led the officers to announce the dissolution of protest and declare the demonstration illegal. 

However, the demonstrators did not pay attention to the announcement and continued pushing the obstacles closer to the officers while simultaneously throwing water bottles, bricks, ping pong bombs and firecrackers at the police who were only covered by shields resulting in injuries of numerous police officers. Some were injured by the bricks thrown by the protestors in their faces causing them 2 broken teeth. One of the officers died of whom the autopsy is still being under investigation. 

Later on, the leading protesters announced the end of the demonstration and dissolved, but some protesters, including the alleged offenders and other 200 citizens refused and remained in the street throwing objects at the officers. The crowd control police arrested the alleged offenders and 4 of their peers and sent them to Din Daeng Metropolitan Police Station.

It turned out that the other protesters assembled around Din Daeng Police Station as a means to block the officers. Hence, the alleged offenders were brought to Sutthisan Police Station instead for security reasons. 

The remaining suspects went to Din Daeng Police Station while throwing objects, burning the royal cars and destroying people’s cars causing a lot of damage. After the police successfully controlled the situation, they came back to the police station to proceed with the arrest. 

The 6 charges against the juveniles are as follows: 

1. Breaching of the Emergency Decree is punishable by up to two years in prison or a fine THB 40,000 fine or both. 

2. Breaching of the Communicable Disease Act Section 34 (6) is punishable by a THB 20,000 fine. 

3. Breaching of Section 215 according to the code of laws “Whenever ten persons upwards being assembled together do or threaten to do an act of violence, or do anything to cause a breach of the peace, every such person shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months or fined not exceeding one thousand Baht, or both.” 

4. Breaching of Section 216 according to the code of laws “When the official orders any person assembled to gather so as to commit the offence as prescribed under Section 215 to disperse, such person not to disperse shall be imprisoned not more of three years or fined not more of six thousand Baht, or both.” 

5. Breaching of Section 140 according to the code of laws “If the offence is committed by the offender carrying or using any arms, or by having participation of three persons upwards against an official, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding five years or fine not exceeding ten thousand Baht, or both.” 

6. Breaching of Section 296 according to the code of laws “Whoever, committing bodily harm, if such offence having any circumstance as prescribed by Section 289, shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more of six thousand Baht, or both.”

At 6.00 AM., the 4 juveniles were released after the investigation. The officer told them to go to the Central Juvenile and Family Court at 13.00 PM. on that same day. 

At 18.30 PM., the Central Juvenile and Family Court granted bail on the 4 alleged offenders. Saichon’s parents had to pay the surety amounted to THB 15,000 as a bail deposit while those of the others did not, but they had to sign the bail bond agreement reassuring the alleged offenders ’ appearance following the court’s order. Any breach will cost THB 5,000. 

All were released. The alleged offenders need to report to The Central Juvenile and Family Court on 20th April 2021 at 8.30 AM. 

18 arrested individuals were brought to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau when a messenger was arrested because he passed by the 7-11 nearby Din Daeng Police Station 

18 citizens were brought to be charged in the police blotter. All reached the Region 1 Border Police Bureau at 00.30 AM. The attorneys arrived around 1 AM. 

At the same time, at around 1.40 AM., the police arrested another man named Theerayut Ootta who is a messenger in the protest in Din Daeng Police Station area. He was also transferred to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau resulting in 23 alleged offenders in total. The man stated that he was only a messenger on the way home

who commuted through Prachasongkroh road after his last delivery and parked his car at 7-11 to observe the incident and recorded video and that he was not involved in the protest. 

All the 19 suspects were brought to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau 

The suspects were all put through a primary physical checkup by medical staff who came to the 1st Infantry Regiment. The result showed that 4 protesters were severely injured. They were later sent to Thammasat University Hospital. 

After more than 4 hours, at 6.30 AM., the police started reporting in the police blotter, but all the alleged offenders refused to comply and petitioned for the report on the use of wrongful arrest as this will violate the rights of the alleged offenders . 

In the police blotter, the investigators described the circumstances similarly to those of the juveniles. The investigators pressed 6 charges against the 18 suspects involved in the protest as with the juveniles’ investigators and pressed 5 charges against the messenger because he was not accused of harming the officials. 

Until 14.00 PM., the police finalized the investigation and announced the charges regardless of the alleged offenders’ denials of all the allegations. 

Later on, the investigators allowed the bail on Naewna Newspaper journalists during custodial interrogation. The investigating officers at Din Daeng Police Station asked the Criminal Court via online video conference to put the other 18 alleged offenders in prison for 12 days by claiming the need to investigate 10 more witnesses as well as to wait for the fingerprints and criminal record confirmations. They claimed that the alleged offenders had a high tendency to gather and created unrest again which could lead to damage of public property. 

The Criminal Court approved the imprisonment for 12 days before allowing the bail at THB 35,000 per suspect 

At 16.30 PM., the Criminal Court approved the imprisonment of the 18 alleged offenders for 12 days. The attorneys filed bails on 14 suspects by using the money from Ratprasong Fund for bailing at THB 35,000 on each suspect and the positions of the Move Forward Party representatives to bail out the other 4 suspects. 

At around 19.00PM., The Criminal Court allowed the bail on the students and the citizens of 18 individuals in total. However, the bail bond on one alleged offenders was added to amount to 70,000 because he had a previous criminal record.