Thai military intimidating 17 student activists

In a bid to stop the political activities of student activists, military officers have intimidated 17 student activists by paying visits to their homes, dorms, and parent’s homes.

The Thai Student Centre for Democracy (TSCD), a student activist group, on Wednesday revealed on the group’s Facebook page that since 19 March, 17 student activists have been intimidated by military officers who came to visit their homes.

“Military and police officers, both in uniform and plain-clothes, raided, carried out searches, and talked to student activists and the parents of students who have records of political activities since the 2014 coup d’état in an attempt to adjust their attitudes,” wrote the TSCD on Facebook.

At 1.30 pm on Wednesday three police officers from the Special Branch of the Royal Thai Police (SBP), a police unit responsible for national security intelligence, visited the parents of Natchacha Kongudom, a prominent TSCD student activist from Bangkok University, in the northeastern province of Nong Khai.

On the same day, several military officers visited the parents of Rangsiman Rome, another prominent student activist from the League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy (LLTD), another activist group based at Thammasat University.

Both Natchacha and Rangsiman participated in a protest in front of Bangkok’s military court on 16 March to support the four embattled anti-junta activists from Resistant Citizen, an anti-junta activist group, who were charged with defying the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 7/2014 for holding a political gathering of more than five people on 14 February.

In addition, on Wednesday, Seri Kasetsart, a pro-democracy student activist group based at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, revealed on the group’s Facebook page that on Wednesday evening security officers in plainclothes visited the home of Athiwich Pattamapornsirigun, a leading member of the group.

Athiwich was not at home during the officers’ visit. However, the officers talked to his family members and told them to send him a message that he should not engage in any political activity.

After the incident, the group urged the junta to refrain from any dictatorial action.