Criminal Court acquits six pro-election activists

Six pro-election activists were acquitted by the Criminal Court this morning (Friday) after they were found not guilty of illegal public assembly, as charged by the public prosecutors.

The six activists include Sirstavit Ja New Seritiwat, Karn Pongprapaphan, Anont Nampa, Ms. Nattha Bow Mahatthana, Sukrit Piensuwan and Ms. Chonthicha Jaengraew.

The six defendants were among a group of about 40 people, including Rangsiman Rome who is currently an MP of the Future Forward party, who demonstrated in Bangkok last year in violation of the law, which bans public assembly of more than five people, to demand an election. They denied all the charges.

Rangsiman and the other protesters were separately tried in the Dusit District Court.

In acquitting the six activists, the Criminal Court ruled that they merely exercised their rights and liberties in accordance with the Constitution in their demonstration to demand an election be held in 2018 and they stopped such activities after a Royal decree was promulgated to set the election date.

Their demonstration was peaceful and did not constitute an act of incitement of unrest as charged, said the court.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)