Updated: Harassing, repressing, intimidating

26 01 2018

In a recent post, PPT noted the support being given to We Walk marchers. The junta is harassing and repressing supporters of the march.

Prachatai reports that when the marchers were in Ayutthaya, “police officers searched their supply trucks and briefly detained four protesters for interrogation.” The cops also put pressure on the temple that sheltered them, forcing the marchers to leave early.

Phra Yongyut Thipako, the abbot of Wat Pang Ngun temple in Phrae joined the marchers for a short time. Promptly the police interrogated him. When the monk the went to give a Dharma lecture at a Bangkok temple, “officers from the National Office of Buddhism visited him at the temple and asked his reason for joining the march.”

You get the picture.

Another case of intimidation involves HIV activists. The report says that “police and soldiers have created the climate of fear among HIV activists…”. The report states that on 25 January 2018, “police and soldiers visited members of the Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS in Sisaket and Surin Province. The intimidation occurred after the network signed a statement of FTA Watch, urging the junta to stop prosecuting the organisers of the civil rights march ‘We Walk’…”. The report continues:

Nimit Tian-udom, director of Aids Access Foundation, told Prachatai that in the morning, police officers and soldiers visited hospitals in the provinces and asked the hospitals’ director to summon the network members for interrogation.

Nimit added that provincial officers from Ministry of Social Development and Human Security also summoned the network’s local leaders to question about their reason for signing the petition. “Those who were summoned has no involvement with the march. They’re just members of the group which signed the statement,” stated Nimit.

To avoid further problems with the authorities, some HIV groups decided to halt their daily activities, such as visiting the house of people with HIV and giving advice for those who came to the hospitals, Nimit pointed out.

The intimidation is blatant. As blunt and as threatening as the junta can be, this is sinking very low.

Update: Prachatai reports that, as the military junta intimidates, activists have “planned to march in Bangkok and Hat Yai every Sunday to show support to the embattled ‘We Walk, Walk for Friendship’ marchers…”.  They “plan to host regional activities like this every Sunday until the marchers reach the destination at Khon Kaen.” Other solidarity events will include, in Korat, “a seminar on universal healthcare scheme, one of the welfare policies that the junta tries to abolish. There will also have an event to collect signatories against the junta’s effort to amend the National Health Security Act.”


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28 01 2018
Sparks beginning to fly | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] both in events and institutions. We have posted on the “We Walk” march and its court victory. Some of the NGOs involved in that event were those that were present at the birth of the People’s Alliance for […]

28 01 2018
Sparks beginning to fly | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] both in events and institutions. We have posted on the “We Walk” march and its court victory. Some of the NGOs involved in that event were those that were present at the birth of the People’s Alliance for […]