A teenager arrested and charged with violating Thailand’s strict lèse majesté law has been released after 51 days in detention. The Central Juvenile and Family Court ordered that 15 year old Thanalop “Yok” Phalanchai be released from Baan Pranee remand home in the central province of Nakhon Pathom.
The court turned down a request from police to keep Yok in custody, finding that the authorities’ claim that they are waiting for confirmation on whether or not to prosecute was not a reason to keep the young girl detained.
Thai PBS World reports that Yok is the youngest Thai person to ever be arrested under the lèse majesté law. She is a student at a renowned Bangkok school and was only 14 when she was arrested. The arrest followed an official complaint filed by royalist Anon Klinkaew, who accused her of spray-painting an anarchist sign and message against the lèse majesté law on the wall of the Grand Palace.
The young student spoke to the media following her release, demanding to know if she had deserved her detention and describing her 51 days in remand as a “waste”, which only served to hurt her both mentally and physically and was in violation of her human rights.
Yok was the focus of a number of recent anti-government protests and an online campaign calling for her release. Former hunger strikers Tantawan Tuatulanon and Orawan Phuphong were among 9 activists from the Talugas protest group to be arrested last week after descending on Samran Rat Police Station, where an additional charge of violating an archaeological site had been filed against Yok.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World