Thailand protesters light candles outside court after leaders are denied bail


Thai anti-establishment protesters dressed in black gathered outside the Bangkok Criminal Court today (March 9) in a mock funeral as they claimed justice had died after three leaders were denied bail over lese majeste charges.

The movement was a manifestation of support for the activists who were remanded in custody indefinitely following a court hearing yesterday (March 8) over lese majeste and the sedition allegations.

Demonstrators put white and black ribbons on the court’s gates and placed funeral wreaths outside signifying the death of justice.

They also wrote messages criticising the Thai legal system, particularly the court’s decision and the authorities’ action that allegedly antagonised the groups.

Other messages criticised the monarchy and called for the abolition of Section 112 lese majeste laws.

The event followed the denial of bail for three leaders, Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, Panupong ‘Mike’ Jadnok and Panusaya ‘Rung’ Sithijirawattanakul on March 8.

They allegedly broke Section 112, the lese majeste law, and Section 116, the sedition law, by participating in a protest allegedly criticising the monarchy on September 19, 2019.

The court explained that their actions caused damage to the monarchy and the accused had no fear of the law. It also stated that they hurt the feelings of loyal subjects in Thailand.

Pro-democracy protests stemmed from the military coup in 2014 in which the army lead by General Prayut Chan-o-cha seized the power.

Thai student-led anti-government protests erupted in Bangkok and other big cities following a disputed election in 2019. Activists called for the resignation of the prime minister and changes to the constitution.

They claim that the monarchy had become involved in Thai political matters and demanded reform of the establishment so that it becomes more transparent.