Updated: 7 students released, 7 more detained

6 07 2016

The military junta was clearly worried that the detained seven student activists from the New Democracy Movement could become a beacon for opposition to the junta. So Rangsiman Rome, Korakoch Saengyenpan, Thirayut Napnaram, Somsakol Thongsuksai, Yuttana Dasri, Nantapong Panmat and Anan Loket were released by the military court.

Prachatai reports that the activists are scheduled to be released today. (The report has some useful photos of their supporters assembled at the court.)

The students remain defiant, loudly declaring their innocence and their opposition to the regime as they were led, chained and shackled, into the court (see the video here).

Rangsiman declared: “I maintain that what I did was not a crime…. We have been shackled and imprisoned although we did nothing wrong.”

Accused of violating The Dictator’s Order 3/2015 banning political gatherings of five or more persons and the draconian Referendum Act, the Bangkok Military Court “ordered their release because police have completed their investigation of the June 23 protest…”.

Neo-Democracy

Activists at the military court (clipped from Prachatai)

Many activists showed up to “show solidarity with the embattled activists.” Representatives “from the Embassies of the US, UK, Canada and other EU nations, such as Germany, France Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland and were present at the court to observe the the ruling.” Jatuporn Promphan, from the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, was also there.

Meanwhile, as Prachatai also reports, junta thugs (also known as police) “detained seven student activists after failing to force a member of the activist group to remove a t-shirt campaigning for ‘vote no’ on the draft charter referendum.”

Police officers detained seven students on Tuesday. They were reportedly members of “an activist group called ‘Association of Students for Society’ from Ramkhamhaeng University…”.

The police thugs apparently “reasoned that wearing such t-shirt could be illegal and took Jirat [Peta] and six other students from the group to Udomsuk Police Station.” We are not at all sure that “police” and “reason” belong in the same sentence.

Update: The Bangkok Post reports that only six of the students were released on Wednesday. Korakoch Saengyenphan was kept in detention “by Thonburi Railway Police for further legal action in a case in which he was detained, along with other suspects, while travelling by train to Rajabhakti Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin district and charged with violation of a National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) order against public assembly.” Khaosod reports an “outstanding warrant” on the Corruption Park case. Prosecution of all of the original 13 detainees for defying The Dictator’s order will continue.


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