Thai junta threatens to arrest anti-junta student activists

The Thai junta has threatened to issue arrest warrants against anti-coup student activists who refuse to report to the police.  

On Thursday, Col Winthai Suwaree, the spokesperson of the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), announced that if the student activists from the Dao Din Group, an anti-junta student activist group from the northeastern province of Khon Kaen, fail to report to the police on 18 June, the police will issue arrest warrants against them.

He added that other student activists who took part in an activity to commemorate the 2014 coup d’état in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) in central Bangkok will also face arrest warrants if they fail to turn up at the police station on Friday.

“I would like to send a message to their families that they should not let their children act against the law. In the past, the police have tried their best to give opportunities and light punishment, but they still repeatedly commit wrongdoing,” said Winthai.

According to Matichon News, the junta’s spokesperson also said that the parents of the anti-junta student activists might also be called in since they are partially responsible for their children’s behaviour.

He added that for the Dao Din student activists the bail money of 50,000 baht lodged with the police as surety will be confiscated if they choose not to report in.

On 22 May, at least seven students from the Dao Din Group gathered at the Democracy Monument in Khon Kaen city centre to commemorate the 2014 coup d’état. Similarly, about 30 student activists gathered in front of the BACC in central Bangkok to hold a similar symbolic event.

The student activists from both groups were arrested by the police and briefly detained before being charged with defying NCPO Order No. 7/2014, which prohibits political gatherings with five or more persons.

Earlier, the police summonsed the Dao Din members to report on 8 June. However, they refused to report, saying that they hoped that their ‘civil resistance movement’ could inspire other activists and people to show solidarity against the military regime.

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