Thai authorities visit father of anti-junta activist

Thai authorities have visited the home of one of the 14 embattled anti-junta activists to ask about his recent activities.   

On Wednesday, 1 July 2015, a Facebook page of Dao Din Group, a student activist group based in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen, posted a video interview of Wiboon Boonpattararaksa, the father of Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, one of the 14 anti-junta student activists now in detention.

In the interview, Wiboon said that recently 10 officers, five of whom were police in uniform and the others in plain clothes, came to his house in Phu Khiao District of northeastern Chaiyaphum Province while he was away.

He added in the interview that this week the District Chief had phoned him to ask about his activities after his son was arrested and to ask when he will return to Chaiyaphum.

Wiboon told the District Chief that he and his wife have come to Bangkok to visit Jatupat, who is now detained in Bangkok Remand Prison.

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Since the arrest and detention of his son and 13 other anti-junta activists last week, Wiboon has been actively participating in campaigns to support the 14 embattled activists.

On Monday, he submitted a letter to the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC), urging the agency to investigate the arrests and charges against the 14 activists.

“The expression of political ideas is a basic freedom and right of the democratic political system and a principle of human rights, which the state is obliged to protect and support, not obstruct,” stated Wiboon’s letter to the NHRC.

The military court detained the 14 embattled anti-junta activists, most of whom are students, in the early hours of 28 June 2015.

They are accused of violating the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 7/2014, which prohibits any political gathering of five or more persons after they held 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. If found guilty, the activists might face prison terms up to seven years.