Police charge 3 anti-coup student activists for holding 2006 coup commemoration

 
In a bid to threaten anti-coup activists, the police on Thursday summoned three student activists after they commemorated the 2006 coup d’état on 19 September and charged them with littering a pedestrian bridge.  
 
On Thursday, Sirawith Sirathiwat, Seaksan Saisueb, and Thongdam Keawphanpruek, student activists from the League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy (LLTD) were ordered to report to the police at Sutthisan Police Station. 
 
 
 
Sirawith Sirathiwat, Seaksan Saisueb, and Thongdam Keawphanpruek met the police at Sutthisan Police Station on Thursday. 
 
 
Last week, the three commemorated the 2006 military coup by putting up a cloth banner on a pedestrian bridge over Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road in front of the Thairath Newspaper office where Nuamthong Praiwan, a taxi driver who drove into a military tank during the coup in 2006 later hanged himself. He committed suicide to protest against the 2006 coup. 
 
The police stated that they should have informed the authorities before putting up the sign and charged them with violating Article 10 of the Cleanliness and Order Act and fined them 1000 baht each. 
 
 
 The banner reads "Mr Thai Democracy” born: 24 Jun 1932, died: 19 Sep 2006, and the latest?" 
 
 
The three went to the police station on Thursday afternoon with a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and were released at around 7.30 pm.
 
According to the group, a military officer also attended the interrogation along with the police.
 
One of the students told Prachatai that he thinks the authorities should allow some space for freedom of expression.
 
“I don’t think that the authorities should do this. We just put up the banner to commemorate a historical event and the death of uncle Nuamthong. This activity did not cause uncleanliness or loss of public property. In this environment, there should be some space for expression.”
 
On 18 September, Sirawith was briefly detained by police after he helped organize a seminar on dictatorships overseas at Thammasat University which was forced to cancel.