On 9 Aug, a local red-shirt leader and three students from Chiang Rai who had been charged by local police with violating the Emergency Decree went to the Office of the National Human Rights Commission in Bangkok, in response to an invitation to provide information to the Commission.
The three students, including two from Chiang Rai Rajabhat University and a 16-year-old high school student staged a protest in downtown Chiang Rai on 16 July together with two students from Mae Fah Luang University. They carried placards with messages reminding the public of the deaths at Ratchaprasong and calling for revocation of the Emergency Decree.
The local red-shirt leader, allegedly the mastermind, has also been charged.
The high school student said that they gave all details of their activity to the NHRC, and he also told them about how he had been intimidated, including intimidation over the phone and at school.
Kittipong Nakakade, a Chiang Rai Rajabhat University student, called on the government through the press to revoke the Emergency Decree in all provinces, and to compensate those who had been injured or lost family members during the crackdown. He also called for a quick solution to the country’s economic problems, and equal enforcement of the law. He raised as an example the People’s Alliance for Democracy’s recent rallies on the Preah Vihear issue in front of Government House, where no one was arrested despite the Emergency Decree.
He said that their activity on 16 July was small and just symbolic. They will continue their political activity, but for now they want to wait and see how the government will proceed with them.
Local red-shirt leader Thanit Bunyanasineekasem said that he had not been involved in the students’ activity. He just walked by when they were staging the protest on 16 July. He was interested, and admired their courage. So when they finished, he approached them to have a talk. Some red shirts took photos of them, and posted the photos on Facebook to show the online community of red shirts that there were students who were brave and loved democracy. And the police used the Facebook photos to implicate him.
Next week, the senate committee following the political situation will go to Chiang Rai to gather information about this case.