Anti-junta student activists detained in Khon Kaen

Thai military officers have detained students activists in Isan, Thailand’s Northeast, for holding an anti-junta political activity on the first anniversary of 2014 coup d’état.  

At 1:27 pm on Friday, police and military officers arrested and detained seven student activists from the Dao Din group, a student activist group based in Khon Kaen University, in front of Khon Kaen Province’s replica of the Democracy Monument.

Dao Din student activists hold a banner saying "Against the coup d'état" in front of the replica of the Democracy Monument in Khon Kaen on 22 May 2015

While arresting the students, the officers reportedly threatened to take legal action against them if they refused to cooperate with the authorities.

At 1:40 pm, the seven students were brought to Si Phatcharin Military Base in the province and are currently in custody along with six observers some of whom are from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR).

The seven were arrested shortly after they held a banner against the junta which simply says ‘Against the coup d’état’. They also put up placards with various comments against the regime.

Military officers bring the student activists to a military camp in the province for detention

Before the arrest, the group read out their stance against the junta, pointing out that the junta have taken away the authority that all Thai people should have while enforcing authoritarian laws to suppress the people and sell off the country’s natural resources to business interest groups.

“We think that we are doing the right thing to criticise the government, which is the right of every citizen. If the junta thinks that this is wrong, then this country has become a full dictatorship,” said Phanuphong Sithananuwat, a Dao Din member.     

In November 2014, five student activists from the group gave the three-fingered salute to Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader. The students were immediately detained and later interrogated by the military. The military also involved their parents and threatened to have them expelled from the university if they did not accept the junta’s conditions.

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