Khon Kaen student activists arrested for giving three-fingered salute at the head of the junta reported intimidations they received after their release to the United Nations officers in Bangkok. On the occasion, Prachatai also interviewed them on the accusation of being red shirts.
Two representatives of Dao Din group, student activist group based in Khon Kaen University of Thailand’s Northeast, met with personnel of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Bangkok on Thursday to report the intimidations and harassments
that the group have faced.
The intimidations started after the release of five Dao Din students activists, arrested for the raising three-fingered salute and wearing the t-shirts with the message ‘No coup d’état’ during the speech of Prayuth Chan-ocha, the head of the junta, last week.
According to the group’s Facebook page, the military allegedly visited houses of some members of the group and allegedly attempted to monitor the group’s activities and movements.
Prachatai had a chance to interview two members of the group after their meeting with the OHCHR.
Dao Din representatives at the United Nation office in Bangkok
How was the meeting with the OHCHR?
High ranking personnel of of the OHCHR told us that they realise the situation of human rights in Thailand and the intimidations on rights that happened to us. They confirmed that they will follow our situation closely and promised that they will consult with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs about our situation. Moreover, they suggest that Dao Din group should submit a report on the intimidations against the Dao Din students activities to the UN.
Is it uncomfortable being accused as redshirt [anti-establishment political camp]?
It is alright, we have a firm stance and like to say that those who are against the coup d’état are not only from of the red-shirt camp. They are people who are uncomfortable with the situation from both sides, but for us we do it in the name of the new generation who believe in democracy and we want the society to think beyond the colour coded political divide. One dimension to this is that it makes our activities to solve the problems of the villagers that we have been working with much more difficult because of the pressure from the authority and the colour coded politics, which only obstruct the ideas of the new generation.
How is the relation between Dao Din and the red shirt?
In some aspects, such as as election, we are in favour of the election and we campaigned in support for it. When the Constitutional Court ruled that the election was void, we went to the Administrative Court to filed charge
against the Office of the Ombudsman’s personnel who filed the case to invalidate the election that they had no power to file such charge. However, our movements are independent and are not under the control of the red-shirt camp. We have our own ways.
Now that the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order proposed the reform agendas and suggested that the participations of the youth and students might be on the table, if you are invited to participate in this, would you join?
In principle they don’t go together. They have guns, but we only have empty hands. How can we cooperate for reform. If they really want the reform then they should remove the martial law first.
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