Charges and Status of 20 activists arrested during 23-24 June 2016

On 23-24 June 2016, 20 individuals were arrested for participating in a series of political activities. 13 of them were arrested in the evening of 23 June, 2016, for distributing leaflets campaigning for 'Vote No' against the draft constitution. The other 7 were arrested in the morning of 24 June, 2016, during their activity to commemorate the 84th anniversary of Thai revolution day. 
 
Those 20 activists were together charged with violating Head of NCPO’s order no. 3/2558 for political gathering. They were also charged separately under other many unaccustomed laws which are Referendum Act 2016, Public Assembly Act 2015, The National Identity Card Act 1983 and The Announcement of the Council for Democratic Reform (CDR) no. 25 2006. The statuses of those activists were also different, 7 were released without condition, 6 applied for bail and other 7 are still now detained.
 
 
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Case of Distributing 'Vote NO' leaflets at Samut Prakan
 
During the night of 23 June 2016, 13 Activists, namely, Rangsiman, Korrakoch, Nanthaphong, Anan, Teerayuth, Yuthana, Somsakul, Worrawuth, Tuenjai, Peemai, Phannathip, Raksachat and Kornchanok were arrested by military and police officers while handing out leaflets and documents campaigning for 'Vote no', against the draft constitution, in the upcoming referendum on 7 August, 2016, at the market of Kan Keha Bang Pli Community in Samut Prakan province. Some of the documents distributed inform the registration process to vote outside the constituency. 
 
13 of them are New Democracy Movement (NDM) activists and some are members of a labour union. After arrested, they were taken to Bang Sao Thaong police station to get interrogated and charged under 2 severe offences as follow: 
 
1. Violation of Article 12 of the Head of NCPO's order no.3/2558 which prohibits political gathering of five or more persons. This provision provides the punishment with imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding ten thousand Baht, or both.
 
2. Violation of Section 61 of Referendum Act 2016 which prohibits publishing text, images or sound, through either newspaper, radio, television, electronic media or other channels, that is either untruthful, harsh, offensive, rude, inciting or threatening, with the intention that voters will either not exercise their right to vote, or vote in a certain way, or not vote. This kinds of act shall be considered as causing confusion to affect orderliness of voting. This provision provides the punishment with imprisonment of not exceeding ten years and a fine of up to 200,000 Baht, The Court may order to revoke his/her right to vote of not exceeding five years.
 
Furthermore, Rangsiman, Korrakoch, Nanthaphong, Anan, Teerayuth, Yuthana, Somsakul, and Worrawuth who denied to provide their fingerprints under the order of inquiry officers were also charged under The Announcement of the Council for Democratic Reform (CDR) no. 25 2006, which is the order issued by the the coup maker in 2006, This provision provides the punishment with imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding one thousand Baht, or both.
 
Whereas, Rangsiman, Korrakoch, Nanthaphong, Tuenjai, Peemai and Phannathip who denied to cooperate with authorities in producing their identity cards were charged under Section 17 of The National Identity Card Act 1983. This provision provides the punishment with a fine of up to 200,000 Baht. 
 
Their campaign materials were confiscated including (1) large fliers bearing the text “Vote No”, (2) booklets, titled the “Arguments and explanations about the essence of the Draft Constitution, the ten things you should know”, (3) large fliers titled “Kao Kham” (Transcending) by the New Democracy Movement (NDM), and (4) brochures explaining how to register to vote outside one’s constituency. They were detained in police custody for one night. 
 
In the evening of 24 June 2016, all the 13 were brought, for pre-trial remand hearing, to Bangkok Military Court. The police asked the court to have them remanded for 12 days claiming that it’s necessary for questioning ten more witnesses and concerning of possible reoccurrence of the crime which may post an obstacle or jeopardize the investigation. 
 
The military court later ordered to detain the 13 accused. Six of them applied for bail by placing bail bond at 50,000 Baht each. The court, however, allowed the bail with conditions set forth by Military Court including to “not get involved with any act aimed to instigate, disrupt public order, persuade, compel people to rise up by any means possible in order to make possible any public assembly which may bring about public disorder or cause any harm or infringement on peace, order or the moral high ground of the people or any act which may induce people to commit a legal offence”. 
 
Other seven activists refused to apply for bail citing that they had done nothing wrong and should not be subject to the jurisdiction of the military court. Therefore, they are held in custody at the Bangkok Remand Prison since the night of 24 June 2016 until now. The first period of pre-trial detention will end on 5 July, 2016. They will be brought to the court again and the attorney shall file another motion to object further remand. 
 
 
Case of 'Clean Up Democracy' at Lak Si Monument
 
On 24 June 2016, in the morning, 7 activists, Khunapat, Uthai, Kasemchat, Karn, Suthida, Aranyika and Chanoknan Ruamsap were waliking from Wat Phra Sri Mahathat to clean up the Fifth Constitution Monument (Lak Si Monument) as a commemoration of the revolution from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 1932. When they arrived the circle of the monument, they were arrested by police officers and taken into the van to Bang Khen Police Station and were charged under two offences as follow: 
 
1. Violation of Article 12 of the Head of NCPO's order no.3/2558 which prohibit political gatherings of five or more persons. This provision provides the punishment with imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding ten thousand Baht, or both.
 
2. Gathering without advance notification to the authorities within 24 hours which is an offence under Public Assembly Act, Section 10. This provision provides the punishment with a fine not exceeding 10,000 Baht.
 
After being arrested in the morning, the inquiry officers took them to the pre-trial remand hearing at Bangkok Military Court in the evening. The accused and lawyers submitted a motion opposing the pre-trial detention. The court later dismissed the request to detain the accused during the investigation process given that 7 of them are still students and have permanent residence. The 7 activists, therefore, were released from the military court on that day.
 
 
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