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World News

Thailand jails protesters for breach of bail terms

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Two prominent Thai political activists were remanded in prison on Thursday, their lawyer said, after a court ruled they had breached the terms of their bail following earlier arrests over anti-government rallies.

Human rights lawyer Anon Nampa speaks to the media at a court following his arrest over his participation in anti-government protest, in Bangkok, Thailand September 3, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Human Rights lawyer Anon Nampa, 36, and student activist Panupong Jadnok, 24 were sent to the Bangkok Remand Prison after the court said their political activities since their Aug.8 release were in breach of their bail conditions.

They were among more than a dozen anti-government demonstrators, including students and rappers, charged recently with inciting unrest and breaching regulations that ban public gatherings, after they took part in a rally on July 18.

The two were sent to pretrial detention because they declined to post bail again, arguing they had stuck to their bail conditions, said Anon’s lawyer, Weeranan Huadsri.

A government spokesman said he had no comment at this time. The court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The court did not prevent the posting of new bail but both Anon and Panupong insisted that they did not breach the court’s condition,” lawyer Weeranan told Reuters, adding they can be held for up to 48 days.

Both have participated in anti-government protests that have taken place almost daily in the past six weeks to demand an end to military influence over politics and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who first came to power in a 2014 coup.

Anon is also among a number of activists that made a bold public call for reform of the country’s monarchy, until recently a taboo subject in Thailand..

A student group plans a major protest on Sept. 19.

“My duty outside of prison has ended, and I wanted to gamble everything for change,” Anon posted on Facebook before being sent to jail.

“Let my jailing today be the receipt of harassment against the people. On 19 Sept. 2020 go take it back.”

Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Martin Petty

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