With 3 updates: More on Neo-Democracy student arrests

21 01 2016

Prachatai reports that Sirawith Seritiwat’s abduction by unnamed military thugs has seen him delivered, after several hours, to a police station. At last report he remained in police custody. An interview with him, in Thai, is available.

After being abducted by eight military officers at the Rangsit Campus of Thammasat University around 10:30 pm yesterday, Sirawit was taken to Nimit Mai Police Station at 1:10 am this morning before being transferred to Thonburi Police Station.Neo-democracy movement

Sirawith said “the military officers who abducted him covered his head and took him into the bushes in an unidentified area.” He says he was blindfolded and had his head covered as he was driven about until “the vehicle stopped in the bushes in an unidentified area.” He states: ” I was dragged into the bushes and forced to kneel down. When I resisted they kicked me…”.

The Army thugs demanded to know why “he did not call for an investigation into the Rice Subsidy Programme introduced by the former elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and swore at him.” In a threat that has been commonly used by military gangs for several decades, “Sirawit also recounted that while he was blindfolded, the officers put an object which felt like a gun against his head and made noises as if they were pulling the trigger, and that he was also repeatedly hit on the head and back.”

You get the picture of a bunch of Mafia ruffians upset that their godfather has been accused of a crime and intent on threatening and frightening the accusers. Obviously, they are seeing “bias” in that the Neo-Democracy Movement is focused on the military regime’s corruption and abuse of power.

The Movement’s Facebook page includes video of others arrested and inside the police station. Khaosod reports that three others have been arrested when they went to the Thonburi police station to show support for Sirawith. Video of the arrests is available.

The police plan to have them before a military court.

Update 1: Khaosod reports that a fifth activist has been arrested while four others have been released.

The five activists are Sirawith Seritiwat, Chonticha Jaeng-rew, Chanoknan Ruamsap, Korakoch Saengyenpan, and Abhisit Sapnaphapan. They have declared the junta’s actions against them “illegitimate.”

The first four suspects were taken to a military court with a police request that they be held in custody. Surprisingly, this was refused. Abhisit was arrested during the court sitting.

Update 2: Khaosod reports that Sirawith is preparing to take legal action against those military officers who abducted him. Confirming that those officers were acting on the orders of and for the military junta, its spokesman, Col. Winthai Suvaree denied all of Sirawith’s accusations. The Colonel stated: “The soldiers treated him with respect. There was no violence as alleged by someone who tried to distort the facts…”. One fact is clear: Sirawith was abducted by soldiers acting as thugs.

Update 3: Prachatai reports that a military court rejected the police custody request to detain Abhisit Sapnaphapan.


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