Thai army chief says the arrest of 14 embattled student activists ‘necessary

The Thai army commander says that the arrest of 14 embattled anti-junta student activists was unavoidable to prevent further conflicts and warned that people involved with the student activists will face tough measures.

According to the Thai News Agency, Gen Udomdech Sitabutr, Commander of the Thai Army and Deputy Defence Minister, said on Saturday that the arrest of 14 anti-junta student activists was necessary to prevent further conflicts in the nation.

He warned that security officers now know who is behind the student movements and that people who are involved in supporting the student activists will face harsh measures from the authorities.

The army chief pointed out that the 14 student activists who are now in detention allegedly breached Article 116 of the Thai Penal Code and that they and their accomplices in anti-junta activities will be punished in accordance with Article 83 on the principals and accomplices of crimes.

According to Article 116, whoever makes an appearance in public by words, writing, or any other means to bring about a change in the laws of the country or the government by the use of force or violence; to raise unrest and disaffection amongst the people in a manner likely to cause disturbance in the country; or to cause the people to transgress the laws of the country, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding seven years.

Gen Udomdech added that the authorities acted within the law and upheld justice for the student activists, but the activists still acted against the law. Therefore arresting them was unavoidable for the sake of national security.

He also mentioned that the arrests would not spark on deepen conflicts in the nation.