The military in Chiang Mai threatened two anti-coup protesters who gave the three-fingered salute in Chiang Mai city, warning that the military will ‘visit’ them at their homes if they do not stop their political activity. Earlier an editor was detained for flashing the anti-coup symbol in the same incident.
Damnai Prathanang, a 40-year-old writer, and Sinapan Kerdsanong, a 31-year-old hotel employee, reported themselves at the Chiang Mai Kawila Military camp at 9 am on Sunday after the military searched for them, but failed. A lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights accompanied the two during the interrogation at the military camp and police station.
(From left) Nitipong Samrankong, Sinapan Kerdsanong, and Damnai Prathanang gavethe anti-coup three-fingered salute at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai.
Sinapan, Damnai and Nitipong posted a photo of themselves giving the three-fingered salute at Thapae Gate, in Chiang Mai city on Facebook on Thursday night.
At the military camp, the military officer who oversees information asked for their personal information, why they gave the salute, their past political activities, and what they want the military to fix.
The two answered that they gave the anti-coup symbol to give moral support to the five Khon Kaen student activists
, detained for giving the same salute to the junta leader on Wednesday, and proposed to the military that martial law should be lifted. They also said that the right to give the salute is guaranteed under the democratic system.
Col Phoka Jokloi, the interrogator, told them that they should be patient and be open-minded about the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). If they have any problem, they should send a letter to the Damrongtham Centre, under the Interior Ministry.
The military added that the martial law cannot be revoked since the anti-coup movement continues.
The colonel added that if the two do not stop their political activity, they will be prosecuted in the military court and that there will be military officers visiting them at home.
After interrogation at the camp, the two were taken to Chiang Mai Police Station where they were forced to sign the military-drafted agreement.
The police wrote on the police daily ledger that the two gave the anti-coup symbol because they were impetuous.