Military intimidates red shirt man in northern Thailand

Military officers paid a visit to an anti-establishment red shirt man in northern Thailand, asking his opinions on Thailand’s new draft constitution.

According to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), four military officers in plainclothes on Saturday afternoon, 29 August 2015, came to have a discussion with Siriwat Jupamadta, a coordinator of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a red shirt group, at his office in the northern province of Phayao.

The discussion lasted for about half an hour. Siriwat reported that the officers asked him about his political opinions and his views on the second draft constitution, which was recently released by the Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC), and his personal information.

The red shirt coordinator added that he recognised one of the four military officers from previous visits.

He said that although the conversation was carried out in a polite manner, he felt intimidated.

Siriwat said that after the 2014 coup d’état, he had been summoned and visited by military officers nearly 10 times. He said that the reason for the frequent visits could be the fact that he is still active in expressing his political views online.

Unlike on the previous occasions when the officers would call prior to their visits and would come in military uniform, this time the officers came unexpectedly in plainclothes, said the red shirt coordinator.   

Prior to the coup, Siriwat was active in the red shirt political movement in northern Thailand and was a host of a local radio station in the province. However, he had to stop most of his political activities after the Thai junta came to power. 

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