Thailand’s Criminal Court on Tuesday granted the temporary release for the seven detainees after their bail requests were earlier rejected several times since being detained last May on terrorism charges, but banned the Red Shirt leaders from leaving the country or inciting their supporters to stir unrest.
The protest leaders have been detained since the anti-government protests were forcibly put down May 19 in a military operation. Released were Natthawut Saikua, Weng Tojirakan, Korkaew Pikulthong, Kwanchai Praipana, Yoswaris Chuklom aka Jeng Dokchik, Nisit Sinthuprai and Wiphuthalaeng Pattanaphumthai.
The court also granted a temporary release to Bhumkitti Sukchindathong, a Red Shirt supporter earlier detained on the same charges with the group’s leaders.
Upon released, Mr Natthawut thanked the UDD followers waiting in front of the prison for giving support and express gratitude to the court for giving them freedom.
He added that the release could also be a good sign for reconciliation efforts and jointly create democracy.
Mr Nattawut said after resting for a few days, they would fight for the release of other UDD supporters who are still detained in prisons nationwide.
The court decision came as acting chair of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) Thida Thavornsreth and the movement’s lawyers submitted their bail bid to the court on Monday, with Bt600,000 as collateral for each detainee (US$20,000).
The UDD also brought the country’s key figures including Deputy Prime Minister Pol Maj Gen Sanan Kajornprasart and Prof Dr Kanit Na Nakorn, chair of the Independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Thailand (ITRCT), as witnesses in the case.
Both witnesses told the court that the temporary release of the seven will end the kingdom’s current political conflict as they will be able to enter the national reconciliation process.
The court however said the released protest leaders are banned from leaving Thailand without court permission and join any political gathering to incite chaos.
UDD acting chair Mrs Thida, who is Weng’s wife, said although the key Red Shirt leaders have been granted temporary release, the movement will continue with its next rally on March 12 at the criminal court, demanding the release of more than one hundred UDD supporters nationwide.
Report by : MCOT online news