Survivors of the massacre seven years ago of red-shirt protesters by the Thai government are sharing their memories under the hashtag #10AprilWhereAreYou. With no state or military officials ever prosecuted for their role in the political violence that took more than 90 lives in April-May 2010, the stories aim to keep alive memories of those who died and of the state’s role in those civilian casualties.
The Thai authorities have arrested nine red shirts after seizing military weapons from nine different locations in central and northeastern Thailand, claiming the weapons were intended to be used to assassinate the junta leader. On 18 March 2017, a combined force of police and military searched a house in Pathum Thani Province belonging to Thirachai Utarawichian, an anti-establishment red shirt linked to Wuthipong Kachathamkun, aka Kotee, a fugitive prominent hard-core red-shirt leader.
A police officer has accused a member of the anti-establishment red shirt of defamation after he posted comments to complain about having his house searched without a court warrant. On 15 March 2017, Boribun Kiangwarangkun, a member of a red shirt group in Ban Pong District of Ratchaburi Province, reported to the local police station in the district to listen to accusations against him.
On 23 February 2017, the Supreme Court sentenced Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a labour and democracy activist turned lèse majesté suspect, to six years in prison, ending his six year struggle against the charge. As a man of principle, Somyot was the first lèse majesté suspect in a decade to choose to fight until the end, rather than pleading guilty for a lighter jail term. Prachatai has gathered 14 facts about the man whose legal battle has sparked debate about Thailand’s controversial lèse majesté law.
A criminal court has sentenced two of five ‘men in black’ suspects accused of taking part in the deadly political violence on 10 April 2010 to 10 years imprisonment while dismissing charges against the rest. On 31 January 2017, the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd., Bangkok, sentenced Kittisak Soomsri, 47, and Preecha Yooyen, 26, to 10 years imprisonment.
The leader of Thailand’s red shirts has offered support to the junta’s controversial reconciliation schemes, on the condition principles of justice and equality are followed. On 21 January 2017, Jatuporn Prompan, the leader of the anti-establishment United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), voiced the movement’s support for the junta’s hurtling efforts to bridge conflict between opposing factions in Thai politics.
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.
A military prosecutor has indicted 19 members of the anti-establishment red-shirt movement for breaking the junta’s political gathering ban. On 16 December 2016, a military prosecutor indicted 19 leading members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), the main red shirt faction, iLaw reported.
A military prosecutor in Isaan, Thailand’s northeast, has indicted 20 villagers accused of breaking the junta’s ban on political gatherings.
Update: According to Winyat Chatmontree, a lawyer from Free Thai Legal Aid (ETLA), the Military Court granted to the police custody permission to detain the 15 bomb suspects for 12 days. Their lawyers did not have the chance to submit bail requests in time because the police took the 15 to the court slightly before its closing time.