On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Endangered Scholars Worldwide learned that two leaders of a Thai student-led prodemocracy movement who were jailed last year have been released after repeated requests for bail. Since their arrest, they had been denied bail several times.
The Criminal Court of Thailand granted bail to Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, 22, and Chaiamorn “Ammy” Kaewwiboonpan, 32, both charged under Thai lese majeste laws. The pair spent months in pretrial detention.
According to the statement published by the court, both have agreed to remain in Thailand, attend future court hearings, and refrain from engaging in activities intended to undermine the monarchy and activities that would lead to civil unrest.
While in prison, Parit has been hospitalized due to the deterioration of his health as a result of a 46-day hunger strike to demand the right to be granted bail.
Parit had been charged for his participation in a Bangkok protest last year. He was detained on February 9, 2021, and began a hunger strike on March 15, 2021. Chaiamorn was detained for burning a portrait of Thailand’s king in Bangkok’s Central Prison.
The Thai lese majeste laws, which forbid insulting the monarchy, carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for each offense.
At least two more protest leaders, including human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa and Chukiat Saengowng remain in prison, where they have caught COVID-19.