Thai military denies involvement in arresting 14 anti-junta activists

A junta representative said that the military took no part in the arrest of the 14 anti-junta activists and dismissed allegations of intimidating villagers who support the activists.  

On Wednesday, 8 July 2015, the sub-committee on civil and political rights of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) held a meeting to investigate the arrest of the 14 embattled anti-junta student activists.

The meeting was attended by Col Nurat Kongkaew, the Director the Military’s Staff Judge Advocate Office, who came as the representative of the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Somporn Musik, a representative of the Lawyer Council of Thailand, and Kittisak Prokati, a lecturer of the Faculty of Law of Chulalongkorn University.

The 6th Metropolitan Police, which was involved in the arrest of the 14 activists, did not send a representative to the meeting.

The NCPO representative said that the military took no part in the arrest of the 14 anti-junta activists on 26 June 2015 and that the police were responsible for the operation.

He added that there is no confirmation whether there were military officers at the location where the 14 were arrested.

When asked by Kittisak if military officers took part in identifying the 14 activists at the time of the arrest, Col Nurat said that the arrest was done in accordance to the law and that the NCPO acted within the law.

The Colonel also dismissed allegations that the activists were followed by military officers and said that there is no evidence that military officers paid visits to the houses of the activists.

When asked as to why the 14 activists have to be tried by the military court, Nurat refused to answer and said that it is policy.

The NCPO representative, when asked if there were military officers who intimidated villagers to prevent them from showing support to the activists, also told the NHRC sub-committee that if there were people who disguised themselves as military officers, then they would be prosecuted according to the law. 

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