20 January 2008 - On 14 January 2008 after Metropolitan Police Headquarters pressed charges against 10 key activists of trespassing in parliament on 12 December 2007. On that date there was a demonstration calling on the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to halt consideration of a number of laws that were seen to support the abuse of human rights.
The 10 accused recently organized a press conference to declare they were ready to report to the police on 22 January 2008, in line with the summons. They all confirmed that the act of trespassing into parliament was the peaceful exercise of political rights according to the constitution. This was a response to the failure of the NLA to engage in dialogue, after they had handed their demands to the Chairperson of the NLA many times. The action was intended to protect the interests of the people by attempting to stop the NLA from examining laws that represented gross violations of people's rights and liberties, including the Internal Security Act.
10 suspects are Mr. Jon Ungphakorn, Mr. Sirichai Mai-ngarm, Mr. Pichit Chaimongkol, Mr. Anirut Khaosanit, Ms. Supinya Klangnarong, Mr. Sawit Kaewwarn, Mr. Pairoj Polphet, Mr. Amnat Plamee, Mr. Nasser Yeema, and Ms. Saree Ongsomwang.
They are charged with 1) trespass by using force or joining with 2 or more persons to commit crimes; 2) illegal gathering and using force with more than 10 people for the purpose of intimidation and causing unrest in society; 3) gathering with more than 5 persons to force others to act or not act against their will out of fear for their safety or their lives; 4) detaining and obstructing others against their will and 5) using loud speakers without permission.
Press Statement of the Ten Accused on the Charge of Trespassing into Parliament
We are charged with using force to commit trespass and criminal acts with more than two people. After receiving a summons from the Metropolitan Police Headquarters, we would like to inform the press and media that we intend to cooperate with the police. The police are acting according to the charges filed by Mr. Meechai Ruchupan, the Chairperson of the National Legislative Assembly.
We are willing to meet with police officers at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters, at Meeting Room Parusokwan 2, on 22 January 2008, at 10.30 am as specified in the summons.
We are ready to admit that as participants in the demonstration on 12 December 2008, which was organised jointly by the Non-Government Organisation Coordinating Committee on Development, the State Enterprises Labour Confederation, the Council of People's Organisation Network of Thailand, the Four Slums Network, and the Students Federation of Thailand in front of parliament, we did enter the perimeter of Parliament near the Meeting chamber. However, this is our political right according to the constitution as we were peaceful and unarmed. This was in response to the lack of communication from the NLA, after we had presented our demands to the Chairperson of the NLA a number of times.
The purpose of our demonstration was to protect the interests of the people of this country by attempting to stop the NLA (which is not a parliament of the people's representatives) from considering laws that constitute gross violations of people's rights and liberties, when the examination was being conducted while the process of electing members of parliaments under a democratic system was underway. Among these laws is the Internal Security Act.
This is for your information.
Mr. Jon Ungphakorn
Mr. Sirichai Mai-ngarm
Mr. Pichit Chaimongkol
Mr. Anirut Khaosanit
Ms. Supinya Klangnarong
Mr. Sawit Kaewwarn
Mr. Pairoj Polphet
Mr. Amnat Plamee
Mr. Nasser Yeema
and Ms. Saree Ongsomwang
20 January 2008