Student activist leader ‘Rung’ granted bail after 59 days in jail

Panusaya ‘Rung’ Sithijirawattanakul. Photo: United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration / Facebook
Panusaya ‘Rung’ Sithijirawattanakul. Photo: United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration / Facebook

After 59 days behind bars, a pro-democracy movement leader was granted release on a THB200,000 (US$6,405) bond late Thursday afternoon.

Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, who had been held two months while awaiting trial on charges of insulting the king and sedition, was granted bail by the Criminal Court just after 5pm.

Court weighs release of hunger-striking student activist leader ‘Rung’

The 22-year-old student activist had been jailed since March 8 alongside most of the protest movement’s youth leadership. She went on a hunger strike in the end of March, joining fellow activist leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak. 

Her release was granted on condition she not do anything deemed to “damage the monarchy” and wear a monitoring device.

Rung was virtually unknown just months ago. But as the pro-democracy movement swelled into massive, near-daily rallies consisting of and led by young protesters, she emerged as one of its most recognizable faces. Vaulting her to public attention was a fiery speech she gave Aug. 10 at Thammasat University, where she enrolled. 

She delivered a now-famous 10-point manifesto calling for reforms of monarchy, which turned the fury of the state against her – she’s been charged with numerous serious crimes including sedition – and winning tremendous support in the protest movement.

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CITY: BANGKOKCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: CRIME, POLITICS

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