Thai police harass student activists’ lawyer

Thai police officers attempted to search the car of a lawyer representing the 14 embattled student activists without a search warrant.

At 1 am on Saturday, investigating officers from Chanasongkram Police Station in Bangkok attempted to search a car belonging to Sirikan Charoensiri, a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), who is one of the defence lawyers of the 14 embattled student activists in front of the Bangkok’s Military Court.

Sirikan Charoensiri negotiates with a police officer in front of the military court in the early hours of 27 June (Photo from Sirikan's Facebook profile). 

However, the lawyer refused to let the police officers carry out the search saying that in accordance with the law the officers must present a search warrant before conducting a search.  

The incident happened shortly after the Military Court detained the 14 student activists charged with defying the Thai junta’s ban on political gatherings and Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law, for holding anti-junta activities.

Despite Sirikan’s objections, the police wanted to take the car to Chanasongkram Police Station

After brief negotiations, at 1:20 am, the police told the lawyer that they would not take the car to the police station and would search the car later on Saturday morning.

The police then attached a piece of paper to the car to guarantee that they would not arbitrarily open it. Sirikan, however, chose to remain cautious and guarded her car until the search.