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Free People followers again gather at court to support arrested activists

MEMBERS of the Free People group, which grew out of the Free Youth group, showed up in large numbers at the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court this morning (August 8) to give their two arrested leaders support when they were brought in again for the court to consider holding them in pre-trial detention after the refusal to consider this just before mid-night last night on grounds the request was filed too late, Naewna newspaper reported.

There was tight security at the court as Mr. Panupong Chadnok, or Mike Rayong, and Mr. Anon Nampha were taken in for the proceeding with 50 court and officers from Huay Kwang police station in place to maintain orderliness. They brought along metal shields and set up a metal barrier in front of the court.

The two of them have been slapped with eight charges with one of them being violating Section 116 for allegedly inciting people at the gathering at the Democracy Monument on July 18.

Among the people who showed up morning were two more leaders of the Free People  group, Mr. Prich Chivarak, or Penguin, against whom an arrest warrant has also been issued, and Ms. Chuthathip Sirikhan.

Kao Klai  (Move Forward) party-list MP Mr.Karom Pholproklang also showed up at the court to bail out the two suspects. He said he would have to initially watch the situation because the case is still at the investigation stage.

Penguin said this group is going to continue moving ahead and will do anything for democracy for the sake of the majority of the people.

However they would have to wait another day because it is still not known what legal process Anon and Mike would have to contend with, he added.

He invited his friend to join a gathering at a skywalk in front of the Pathumwan Intersection this evening as a show of encouragement.

Late morning the court put up a sign at the entrance warning those who had gathered there that they must not cause an unrest or be a nuisance and are not allowed to use amplifiers nor interfere with the judicial proceeding with would be considered an offense.

At 10.20 a.m. Prich told his supporters to come and stand in front of the court staircase where police had put up metal  barriers after which he told them to break through the barrier and come into the court.

Police displayed a sign on court regulations and the conduct required within the premises and that violating them is considered an offense. But the people did not listen to them and tried to pull the barriers from the police but not in a violent way. As of 4 p.m. today they are still waiting out there.


Top: Followers of the Free People group at the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court with two other leaders, Penguin and Chuthathip, being with them. Photos: Naewna

TNR staff
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