Thai military threatens to detain student activists

Military officers intimidated and threatened to detain two anti-junta student activists while the police visited the dormitory of one of the two.   

Natchacha Kongudom, an anti-junta student activist from Bangkok University, told Prachatai on Friday that military officers threatened to send her to an ‘attitude adjustment camp’ at a seminar she attended on Wednesday. Later in the evening, several police officers came to her dormitory to search for her, but she was absent.

Natchacha said she suspected that the police came because she actively participated in the anti-junta demonstration at the BACC (Bangkok Art and Culture Centre) on February 14.

Four people were arrested at the scene and face charges for leading a gathering which violated the junta’s Order No. 7/2014, which prohibits political gatherings of more than five people.

Anti-junta demonstration at the BACC (Bangkok Art and Culture Centre) in central Bangkok on February 14 called “The election that was loved (stolen)”.

After the military officers did not find her at the dormitory, they asked the dormitory security guards and staff about her whereabouts and her daily routine, she said.

“If they came when I’m doing political activities along with friends and the press, I wouldn't be afraid, but if they come to see me when I’m alone, then I feel rather intimidated and unsafe,” said the student activist.

She urged the authorities through Prachatai to send an official letter if they want to summon or meet dissidents. Sending officers to their residences is rather frightening.

On Friday morning, Netiwit Choltiphatphaisal, the co-founder and former General Secretary of Education for Liberation of Siam (ELS), reported on his Facebook account that military officers threatened to detain him while he was on his way to a seminar.

Netiwit in front of the 1st Army Military Base in Bangkok on 20th February 2015 (photo from Netiwit's Facebook account). 

The military asked him about the seminar he is organising on 22 February at the Santi Prachatham Library and if he has asked for permission to hold the seminar. They insisted that if more than five people attend, the organizers must obtain permission from the authorities first.

The military officers also took pictures of him and told him that he will receive a phone call from a high-ranking military officer, Netiwit added.

Around 1 pm, he posted on his Facebook account that he had travelled to the 1st Army Military Base in central Bangkok to request permission to organize the seminar.

In December 2014, Natchacha was threatened with rape by men who were thought to be plainclothes military officers assigned to follow and watch her after she made headlines for displaying the anti-coup three-fingered salute at the Hunger Games 3 premiere as a symbolic protest against the junta in November.