As of October 10,2022 there are at least 80 individuals who were charged on the basis of their political expressions and received an order to wear Electronic Monitoring Anklets (EM) during trials. Since March 2018, the Ministry of Justice has employed EM to be attached to accused individuals as part of bail conditions or in lieu of bail surety. There are seven individuals ordered to wear EM in 2018 and 73 individuals during 2021-2022. There are 19 more individuals since our last report in April 2022.
Category of charges
- Charges under Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal code. At least 27 individuals were accused under section 112 including activists leading the protest and civilians who did not join the protest but expressed their opinion via online platforms such as facebook.
- Charges during “Thalu Gaz” prolonged protest at Din Daeng Intersection mainly during August-October 2021. Several charges were pressed against protestors including minors during the Din Daeng Intersection protest. Charges are, for instance, co-conspirator of having bomb in possession, holding public assembly with more than 10 people, inciting chaos, conducting felony, burning public property. There are at least 25 individuals charged under this category as of 29 September 2022. There were eight individuals charged on the basis of their participation in mass gathering activity on 14 June 2022 and were granted bail with the condition of wearing EM.
- Charges during mass protests in 2021 that did not occur in Din Daeng Intersection such as cases of ‘Thalu Fa’ and cases of ‘REDEM’ who were accused of violating the Emergency Decree cases, Section 215, 216 of Criminal Code in total of 21 individuals.
- Charges on the basis of Sedition, Incitement, Secret Society or racket. The accused individuals are those of ‘Sahapantharat Tai’ or ‘Tai Federation’ that were prosecuted during 2018.Their cases are still ongoing in the Supreme Court. There are four individuals with Mr.Kritsana having been wearing EM for the longest since 2018.
- Charges on the basis of Section 14(5) of Computer Crime Act that three individuals were charged from sharing “I’ll receive 100 million baht form Thaksin for sure’ Facebook page.
From the statistics above,there are individuals who submitted a motion to the court to remove EM and the request was granted to 24 people. Therefore, there are at least 56 individuals (as of October 10, 2022) who are still wearing EM.
From this number there are 17 individuals who received a specific curfew order for leaving their residence, two of them are not to leave their residence for 24 hours.
Wearing EM leads to several difficulties for the individuals who are required to wear it for 24 hours.There are also technical issues that occurred with the device sending false signals to the authorities which creates unnecessary chaos.
Many activists also report that they have physical injury derived from the tightness of the EM device on their ankles, travel issues that they cannot travel via airplane, effects to their social perception towards them and to their career also to their mental health regarding the lives under 24 hours surveillance.