After she resisted intimidation by the Thai military to stay silent, the life of Natthida “Waen” Meewangpa – a volunteer nurse who witnessed the shooting of civilians and unarmed supporters of protesting “Red Shirts” by soldiers during the 2010 political confrontations in Bangkok – has turned to hell.
A key leader of the anti-establishment red shirts has vowed to bring justice to the victims of the 2010 crackdown after the country’s top court dismissed murder charges against former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, his former deputy.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has declared a 30-day suspension of broadcasting of a TV station run by red-shirt leaders because it allegedly threatened national security and ‘good morals’. On 9 August 2017, the Secretary-General of the NBTC, Takorn Tantasith, announced the Commission’s decision to revoke Peace TV’s broadcasting licence for 30 days as punishment for publishing seditious content and violating an agreement with the NBCT.
The junta has restarted its restless hunt for Wuthipong Kachathamkun, also known as Ko Tee, an exiled hard-core red-shirt leader. The junta claim he is involved in a plot to assassinate the junta head. But who is he actually? On 18 March, a combined force of police and military searched nine houses and arrested nine people allegedly involved in a plot to assassinate the junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.
20 villagers have been found guilty of violating the junta’s ban on public gatherings by supporting a referendum monitoring campaign. The villagers pleaded guilty, but only because of the high costs of fighting the case. On 6 March 2016, Udon Thani Military Court ruled that 20 villagers from Sakon Nakhon province were guilty of violating NCPO Head Order 3/2015, the junta’s ban on public assemblies of five people or more.
A key red shirt leader has been released on bail, after he fell severely sick under Thailand’s prison conditions.
Several prominent red shirt leaders have been given prison terms for leading a demonstration against the President of Thailand’s Privy Council. On 9 January 2016, the Criminal Court read the Appeal Court’s verdict on ten red shirt activists accused of unlawful assembly for leading a demonstration against General Prem Tinsulanonda, the President of the Privy Council. The defendants were accused of leading a crowd of several thousand to Prem’s residence on 22 July 2007 to demand his resignation.
Relatives of two local red shirt leaders have reported abuse of power by the Thai military to the UN in Bangkok after the two were detained incommunicado. The two leaders were accused of involvement in the explosions in the upper South that took place a week earlier.
A red-shirt TV station faces a month-long blackout imposed for allegedly disseminating content threatening national security. A red-shirt leader says this is the junta’s attempt to silence criticism of the draft charter. On Thursday, 21 July 2016, the Communication Authority of Thailand (CAT) temporarily revoked the broadcasting license of Peace TV, a TV station run by leaders of the red shirts, claiming that the station disseminated content threatening national security.
The authorities in the northern Thailand have summoned five villagers for five days of lectures after an image of them wearing t-shirts campaigning for ‘vote no’ in the August referendum was shared on social media. On Thursday, 21 July 2016, soldiers, police officers, and local administration officials summoned five villagers of Ban Hat Pha Khan, Long District, Phrae Province in northern Thailand, for an hour-long lecture session each day for five days without filing charges.