Thai military court detains 14 anti-junta student activists

The Thai Military Court detained 14 embattled students activists accused of violating the Thai junta’s political assembly ban amid a crowd who came to give moral support to the students.  

At 00:20 am on Saturday, the Bangkok Military Court granted custody permission to detain 14 student activists who are accused of violating the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 7/2014, which prohibits any political gathering of more than five persons for holding symbolic events to commemorate the 2014 coup d’état on 22 May.

In addition, the 14 are also charged under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the law on sedition, for holding anti-junta political activities.

People sing and write banners to give moral support to the 14.

At the court, a defence lawyer for the 14 submitted a request against the custody permission without success. The 14 will be detained for a first custody period of 12 days with the possibility of the custody permission being renewed.   

The 13 student activists were taken to Bangkok Remand Prison while the only female student activist of the group, Cholticha Jangrew, was taken to Central Women’s Correctional Institute in Bangkok.

People light candles to support the student activists on the night of 26 June 2015 next to the Military Court of Bangkok

Earlier at 5:30 pm on Friday, police officers arrested the 14 at their safe house, Suan Nguen Mee Ma, Charoen Krung, Bangkok and took them to Phra Ratchawang Police Station for interrogation.

About 50 people came to give moral support to the group at the time of their arrest.

At 00:30 on Saturday, the crowd, led by members of Neo Democracy Movement (NDM), an anti-coup group, sang ‘Saeng Daw Haeng Sattha’ (the light of faith from the stars) and the Song of the Commoners, Thai civil movement songs, to encourage the student activists while they were being transported to prison.

Activists from the Neo Democracy Movement Group sang in support of the 14. Natchacha Kongudom, a renowned student activist from the Thai Student Centre for Democracy (TSCD) is on the left.

Some also held placards and lit candles to give the embattled student activists moral support.   

Seven of the 14 are student activists from the Dao Din Group, a student activist group based in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen. The rest are student activists from Thai Student Centre for Democracy (TSCD) based in Bangkok.