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Factbox: Criminal cases mount against Thailand's protest leaders

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s youth-led anti-government protests started in July to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and have also made once-unthinkable calls for reform of the country’s powerful monarchy.

Anti-government protesters leaders Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, Panupong "Mike" Jadnok, and Jatupat "Pai" Boonpattararaksa arrive to report themselves over royal insult charges, at the Criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand March 8, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Below are details of some of the most prominent leaders, who have been jailed pending trial, indicted or charged by police for their roles in the protests, over offences that included sedition and royal insult. Those indicted could be remanded in prison if bail is denied.

Thailand’s lese majeste law prohibits criticism or insults against the king, and each offence is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

JAILED AWAITING TRIAL

* Arnon Nampa, 36, a human rights lawyer who first openly demanded reform of the monarchy at a Harry Potter-themed rally in August, is being prosecuted for 21 cases, including 11 of lese majeste, which prohibits criticism or insults of the king He has been jailed since Feb. 9 awaiting trial over protests in September.

* Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, 22, a student activist who rose to prominence as co-leader of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) group, is being prosecuted for 32 cases of protest-related offences, 17 of which are lese majeste cases. He was jailed alongside Arnon.

The two have been denied bail five times since Feb. 9.

INDICTED ON MONDAY

* Panusaya “Roong” Sithijirawattanakul, 22, UFTD co-leader who read out a 10-point manifesto calling for reform of the monarchy in August, is being prosecuted for 16 cases, eight of which are of lese majeste.

* Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jadnok, 24, known for his confrontation with the prime minister during a visit to his hometown of Rayong in July, is being prosecuted for seven cases of lese majeste and 13 cases of other offences related to protests.

* Jatupat “Pai Daodin” Boonpattararaksa, 29, leader of a student activist group in northeast Thailand, is being prosecuted for one lese majeste case and eight cases of other offences. He was released from prison in 2019 after an earlier lese majeste conviction.

* Attapon Buapat, 30, an activist from northeastern Thailand, is being prosecuted for one case of lese majeste and 13 cases of other protest-related offences.

CHARGED BY POLICE

* Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon, 25, an engineering student, is being prosecuted for two lese majeste cases and six cases of other offences. She helped organise the Harry Potter-theme protest in August and could be indicted when summoned later this month over a protest in October at the German Embassy in Bangkok.

* Tattep “Ford” Ruangprapaikitseri, 23, a leader of the Free Youth group, is being prosecuted for one lese majeste case and three cases of other offences.

* Jutatip Sirikhan, 22, another Free Youth leader and former head of the Student Union of Thailand, is being prosecuted for a lese majeste case and six cases of other offences.

* Piyarat “Toto” Chongthep, 30, leader of the WeVolunteer group of protest guards, is being prosecuted for nine cases. He was arrested at a mall car park on Saturday.

Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Martin Petty and Michael Perry

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