Thai authorities revoke passport of prominent anti-junta politician

The Thai authorities have revoked the passport of Chaturon Chaisang, a well-known Pheu Thai Party politician known for his criticisms of the Thai junta and the draft constitution.

According to the BBC Thai Service, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have confirmed that the Ministry has revoked the passport of Chaturon Chaisang, formerly the Education Minister under the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

His passport was revoked about two weeks ago. The authorities did not inform Chaturon about the measure.

Chaturon’s passport was cancelled at the request of the Royal Thai Police because he has been charged with several offenses for his anti-junta stand.

The police in June 2014 charged him for violating Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act for posting anti-coup statements on his Facebook account.

He also faces charges under Article 116 of the Penal Code, the sedition law, which could land him in prison for up to seven years if found guilty, and another charge of violating a junta order.

In January 2015, military officers from the 1st Army Region Command summoned Chaturon for a discussion. He was reportedly summoned because he posted comments on Facebook and Twitter about the impeachment of Yingluck Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister ousted by the 2014 coup.

Chaturong posted a message on Facebook saying “the impeachment of Yingluck, the ex-Prime Minister, is not only an injustice that has happened to an individual or a family. It is a part of an injustice which has been done against the people, the destruction of democracy, an act of robbing the people’s authority without returning it, and the construction of an undemocratic system.”

Part of his recent statement on the draft constitution posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday, 2 September 2015, says “the majority of the National Reform Council (NRC) should know that this draft constitution, which would only bring disaster to this country, is likely to be rejected by the public referendum. It is strange that they did not turn it down themselves.”

After the 2014 coup d’état, as a well-known anti-junta icon, Chaturon had to inform the authorities and ask for permission to travel overseas.