The military has threatened to detain an outspoken academic in a military barracks if he does not stop posting about corruption and dictatorship. On 13 June 2017, Surapot Thaweesak, a well-known scholar of religion, posted on his Facebook account that military officers in Bangkok had warned him over political posts.
Military staff have joined the orientation of a prestigious primary school, but online criticism seems to have led to removal of all images from the school’s websites.
A former member of the parliament (MP) from the Democrat Party says that more than half of Thailand’s military conscripts end up as servants for high-ranking military officers. On 4 April 2017, Wilat Chantarapitak, a former Democrat Party MP and former advisor to a parliamentary anti-corruption committee, told the media that the military conscription system in Thailand is in crisis.
Behind the summary killing of a young ethnic minority rights activist lies a deep-rooted culture of impunity and discrimination against ethnic minorities long stigmatised as drug traffickers.
The military has summoned an outspoken politician from the Pheu Thai Party to a military base for refusing to take part in the junta’s controversial reconciliation process. On 26 February 2017, Watana Muangsook, an embattled Pheu Thai politician, posted on his Facebook account that a military commander of the 21st Infantry Regiment had summoned him for a discussion.
Villagers from southern Thailand have filed a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), claiming that they were harassed by the military for a campaign against construction of a dam. On 21 February 2017, 30 villagers from Tha Sae District in the southern province of Chumphon submitted a complaint to the NHRC office in Bangkok after they were intimidated by the military for protesting against the Tha Sae Dam Project.
The military in southern Thailand have summoned villagers campaigning against a junta development project to a military base. On 19 February 2017, the Assembly of the Poor, a civil society organisation advocating for marginalised communities in Thailand, reported via its Facebook page that 15 soldiers have visited villagers of Tha Sae District in the southern province of Chumphon.
Public prosecutors have dropped defamation charges against Naritsarawan ‘May’ Keawnopparat, Prachatai’s Person of the Year 2016. On 24 January 2017, Naritsarawan told the BBC Thai that the Director-General of the 9th region Public Prosecutor’s Office and prosecutors of Narathiwat Province dropped accusations under the Computer Crime Act and Criminal Defamation against her.
An anti-establishment red shirt activist has reportedly been abducted by men believed to be soldiers. On 23 January 2017, Om Singnoi told Prachatai that her husband, Bunmee Singnoi, 43, was abducted by a group of men at around 12 noon on 19 January 2017. She reported that a group of 10 men, two of whom were wearing what seemed to be military uniforms, visited the garage where her husband works in Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan. They searched the garage before abducting Bunmee.
The military has prohibited university lecturers and students from organising an event in support of an anti-junta activist accused of lèse majesté, reasoning that the Thai people are still mourning for the late King Bhumibol. On 11 January 2017, Asst. Prof. Winai Phoncharoen of Mahasarakham University told Prachatai that military officers had forbidden him from organising an activity to show solidarity with Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattaraksa, the first person charged with lèse majesté under the reign of King Vajiralongkorn.