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.
Following the announcement of the NCPO that the Constitutional Referendum is to be held on August 7, various groups have expressed their views on Thailand’s draft constitution. Both pro- and anti-draft groups have been running campaigns and expressing their views in public. Unfortunately, however, the NCPO has not been welcoming of the views of both groups.
Almost 20 people in northeastern Thailand have been summoned after they participated in a red-shirt referendum watch campaign a month earlier. On Thursday, 14 July 2016, security officers including soldiers, police officers, and local administration officials in the northeastern province of Udon Thani summoned 19 people who joined a local red-shirt referendum watch campaign on 19 June, to an attitude adjustment session, a form of detention with lectures from military, at the 24th Army Circle, reported Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (
A group of villagers in Isaan have been summoned to a military camp as an alternative to facing criminal charges after they joined the red-shirt referendum watch campaign.
After shutting down red-shirt referendum watch centres, the junta has established its own nationwide system for the sake of a supposedly ‘peaceful, clean, fair, independent, and unbiased’ referendum while a red shirt leader said the junta’s centres were aimed at dictating the referendum result. On Sunday, 3 July 2016, Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the junta spokesperson, said that the NCPO had launched ‘Peace and Order Centres’ across the country on 1 July, aimed at helping the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) facilitate the August charter draft refer
The deputy junta head has said the red shirt’s referendum watch campaign is not allowed since it is the responsibility of existing government agencies.
A faction of the red shirts has launched a referendum watch campaign, aiming to prevent electoral fraud in the August referendum and to educate people about the content of the charter draft. Meanwhile, Deep South civil society has also started a similar campaign. On Monday, 30 May 2016, Thanawut Wichaidit and Somwang Asrasi, key members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a main faction of the red shirts affiliated with Thaksin, revealed that they will launch an Anti-Electoral Fraud in the Referendum campaign on 5 June.