Police Lay Fresh Charges on Protesters in Hospital

3 Main Protest Leaders Rearrested

On Sunday, police officers officially rearrested two main protest leaders who had been recuperating at a Bangkok hospital after interaction with police during recent street protests.

Officers from Rayong showed up at Praram 9 Hospital to file a charge against Panupong “Mike” Jadnok over his protest against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during the premier’s visit to the province in August ahead of the mobile cabinet meeting there.

Similar scenes occurred when Ubon Ratchathani police showed up to detain Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak over his role in a demonstration on 22nd August in the northeastern province. He faces sedition charges under Section 116 of the Criminal Code which he refused to acknowledge.

On Saturday night, city police had filed charges against Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul over her involvement on 5th June and 22nd June in protests at the Pathumwan Skywalk in Bangkok.

Panusaya was placed under a 24-hour watch and police will reportedly seek a Pathumwan District Court order today to put her back behind bars for the time being.

The three protest leaders are being treated at Praram 9 Hospital following their release on bail and immediate re-arrest on fresh charges on Friday night.

An ensuing scuffle led to all three being taken to the hospital where doctors said they would need a couple of days to recover.

Kritsadang Nutcharat, the lawyer representing the three, said the arrest warrant against Parit was not valid because he already previously turned himself in to police at the Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters.

It was reported that police will today ask the court to approve detention of Panupong and Parit in their absence.

Parit and Panusaya were taken to Praram 9 Hospital at 4.45 am on Saturday after being questioned by Ayutthaya police at Pracha Chuen station in Bangkok. Panupong, who had been released at the same time, was brought to the hospital earlier after fainting while in custody.

Although the three were technically released on Friday night, a prisoner transport vehicle from the Pracha Chuen station was already waiting outside to rearrest them in connection with other cases.

Pol Col Itthichet Wonghomhuan, the Prachachuen superintendent, said his officers had the authority to rearrest the protest leaders on Friday and none had been treated roughly in the process.

He said the trio were not handcuffed or restrained because they were not detained as suspects, but were instead being legally held while police in other regions secured the authority necessary to detain them on separate charges.

Parit, Panupong and Panusaya face charges being handled by police in Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya and Ubon Ratchathani, he added.

Pol Col Itthichet said police were also gathering evidence against a group of protesters who damaged the vehicle transporting Parit and Panupong to the station.

They face charges of damaging property and assaulting state officials.