Thai military arrests young activist over Rajabhakti Park

Military officers detained a 21-year-old activist briefly in relation to his earlier visit to Rajabhakti Park with other activists and forced him to sign an agreement not the engage in any political activity.

Three military officers and a policeman at around 9:30 am on Thursday, 10 December 2015, arrested Chatmongkon Wanli, a young activist who was among more than a dozen detained en route to Rajabhakti Park on Monday.

According to Supaluck, the activist’s mother, the officers told her that they would detain him only for a brief discussion.

Worried for her son, she later went to a military post near her house in Bang Mot Subdistrict, Bangkok, and the district police station, but the officers had no knowledge of the arrest.

Supaluck told Prachatai that her son was ordered earlier by local military officers to report regularly. However, Chatmongkon did not do so before he joined other activists on the excursion to Rajabhakti Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province on Monday.

When asked by Prachatai, one of the officers who arrested Chatmongkon said that the activist was only ‘invited for lunch’, adding that he did not report to the officers as he was ordered to and that another high ranking military officer wanted to meet Chatmongkon.

The activist was released before 3 pm. He reported that he was taken to have lunch with the high ranking military officer who threatened that if he engaged in other political activities he would be immediately conscripted.

The officers later forced Chatmongkon to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promise that he would not participate in any political activity.

The young activist signed the paper, saying that he has to take care of his 63-year-old father who is now ill.

He added that since he has eluded the draft, the military registrar has now filed a complaint against him.

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