Further updated: Repression deepens

1 06 2014

The dictatorial military junta is conducting many operations that are meant to squelch all opposition to the coup. PPT has noted the rise in lese majeste repression.

As we have noted in other posts, in the countryside, this is a Cold War-like repression that sees soldiers arriving and people being dragged off with no legal documentation and being taken to unknown locations. This repression is forcing red shirt leaders to “denounce” politics and is seeing particular repression in so-called red shirt villages.

In Bangkok, the junta has mounted some large operations to prevent any anti-coup activism such as that seen immediately following the junta’s seizure of power. It is reported that the weekend sees “[t]housands of police and troops” deployed to prevent anti-coup protests in and around Rajprasong’s McDonalds, Taksin Monument in Thonburi, Theparak Intersection at Samut Prakarn, Victory Monument, Democracy Monument, Boworadej rebellion monument at Laksi and Central BangNa. In addition, troops are top be at every provincial hall around the country.

The junta is also grabbing individuals engaged in some high-profile anti-coup actions as well.

At this stage, the junta’s troops are concentrating on silencing even small and anti-coup actions, infiltrating the protests, grabbing individuals and dragging them away. There have been several reports of this.

Prachatai reports that owning and displaying an anti-coup shirt is now a crime against the dictators:

… a Belgian man was arrested by the military after he was found buying a T-shirt stating “Peace Please” at Victory Monument, and then held it. He was taken away by soldiers along with the other two Thai women, who were holding placards with anti-coup messages.

The soldiers said the man would be taken to the Royal Thai Army Club.

Prachatai also reports that:

Thai authorities will spy on the country’s popular mobile chat applications by infiltrating into chat groups which are suspected of disseminating anti-junta comments….

Pol Maj Gen Pisit Paoin, head of the junta-appointed working group responsible for censoring the internet, told the media on Thursday that the Ministry plans to spy on chat groups in LINE, a Japanese chat application which is very popular in the country, in order to identify and arrest people who spread illegal content.

We’ll send you a friend request. If you accept the friend request, we’ll see if anyone disseminates information which violates the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) orders,” the police said. “Be careful, we’ll soon be your friend.”

We aim to control group chat….

The repression is causing some anti-coup protesters to take new actions, but the tolerance of the dictators for even small and silent protest is likely to be close to zero.

Social media operators are avoiding meetings with the dictatorial regime.

Dictator General Prayuth Chan-ocha think repression means “people are happier.”

Some anti-coup activists have fled the country and plan highly publicized events soon.

Update 1: PPT observes that social media is alive with posts of photos of large numbers of troops in many locations around Bangkok. The dictators are keen to stop any evidence of opposition to the coup.

Update 2: In reposnse, the dictators have been cracking down. This is from the Bangkok Post Facebook page and states: “A woman was forced into a taxi by suspected plainclothes police officers after she allegedly flashed three-finger signs signalling her opposition to the military coup near Asoke BTS station this afternoon.” It could also be army officers who are infiltrating the demonstrations or it could be something else, but telling that even the Bangkok Post believes this is a protester being taken away.




One response

1 06 2014
The junta still faces opposition | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] In Bangkok on the weekend, according to Bloomberg, the junta “deployed thousands of soldiers … to counter small protests from groups opposed to the May 22 coup…”. Other sources put the figure of uniformed soldiers at 6,000 or more, with an unknown number of plainclothes military and police also deployed to drag off individuals determined to protest. […]

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