Anti-junta activist sues military over abduction and abuses

A well-known embattled anti-junta activist who was abducted and reportedly abused last week, has filed charges against military officers while human rights organisations urge the junta to end arbitrary arrests and the ban on political gatherings.

Sirawit Serithiwat, a pro-democracy student activist leader from Thammasat University, at 2 pm on Monday, 25 January 2016, with Anon Nampa, a human rights lawyer, filed a complaint at Khlong Luang Police Station, Pathum Thani Province, against military officers who detained him last week.

Last Wednesday, Sirawit was abducted from Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, and reportedly abused by eight military officers before he was transferred to Nimit Mai Police Station. Three other activists were also detained by police the next morning after they went to the police station to give him moral support.

The activist does not know the identities of the military officers who abducted him. However, he reported that there were 4-5 officers who forcefully took him into a car and that they were wearing white masks as they abducted him.

Sirawit accused the officers of malfeasance, unlawful detention, and physical and psychological abuse.

On the same day, , urging the military government to end arbitrary arrests and scrap National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 3/2015, which allows the junta to ban political gatherings the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA), Union for Civil Liberty (UCL), and Environmental Law Thai Foundation (EnLaw) issued a joint statement of five or more persons.

The statement says that as Thailand is a state party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICPPR), the state should comply with international standards in cases of arrests and detentions and allow peaceful political gatherings.

Currently, however, under Section 44 of the Interim Constitution, security officers have absolute power over national security matters in the country without being held responsible for their actions.