Student activist arrested on 2-year-old warrant

A Thammasat University student was arrested on Tuesday (6 September) for sedition on a warrant issued in 2020 relating to a 10 August 2020 protest.

Sitinon Songsiri

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that Sitinon Songsiri, or Faison, a Thammasat University student involved in the 10 August 2020 protest at Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus, was arrested on a sedition charge relating to the protest.

According to TLHR, Sitinon was arrested on a warrant issued on 14 August 2020 by the Thanyaburi Provincial Court based on the fact that Sitinon was the MC on the protest stage.

During the 10 August 2020 protest, speeches were given criticizing the government and calling for reforms. The student activist group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) also announced their 10-point demand for monarchy reform.

Sitinon was taken to Khlong Luang Police Station, before being taken to court for a temporary detention request and subsequently being granted bail on a 100,000-baht security.

Although it was reported in August 2020 that the police were preparing arrest warrants for a number of activists involved in the protest, including Sitinon, he was not indicted when activists Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, Panupong Jadnok, Anon Nampa, Nutchanon Pairoj, Parit Chiwarak, and Chanin Wongsri, all of whom were involved in the 10 August 2020 protest were indicted last week on 30 August.

Panusaya, Panupong, Anon, Nutchanon, and Parit were charged with sedition, violation of the Computer Crimes Act, and violation of the Emergency Decree. Chanin was charged only with violating the Emergency Decree.

The public prosecutor indicted them on the ground that the protest was a threat to national security as speeches were given attacking the government and demanding that the monarchy be under the Constitution. The protesters also projected pictures of political exiles Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Pavin Chachavalpongpun onto a screen in a manner parodying the daily palace news programme, which the public prosecutor said was inciting protesters to hate the government and the monarchy.

Following the indictment, Panusaya, Panupong, Anon, Nutchanon, and Parit were granted bail on a 100,000-baht security each. Chanin was also granted bail on a 20,000-baht security.

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