Arrest warrants re-issued for anti-junta activists

The Military Court has for the second time issued arrest warrants for anti-junta activists calling for an investigation into corruption allegations concerning a park constructed by the Royal Thai Army.

Anon Numpa, a human rights lawyer, at 4 pm on Thursday, 11 February 2016, posted a message on his Facebook profile that the Military Court of Bangkok issued arrest warrants for Sirawit Serithiwat, 23, Chonticha Jaeng-rew, 22, Chanoknan Ruamsap, 22, Korakoch Saengyenpan, 23, and Abhisit Sapnaphapan.

The five activists are accused of violating the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 3/2015, which prohibits political gatherings of five or more persons, when they participated in a failed excursion to Rajabhakti Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province on 7 December 2015 to investigate allegations of corruption at the Park.

Sirawit also posted on his Facebook profile at around the same time that another arrest warrant has been issued for him.

He wrote in his post that at 1:20 pm today Thammasat University staff today passed on to him a summons issued by the police, adding that the summons was delivered by police officers to the university staff earlier on Monday.

He added in the post that he hopes that he will not be abducted by military officers again.  

On 20 January 2016, Sirawit was abducted and reportedly abused by eight military officers before he was transferred to Nimit Mai Police Station.

The four other activists were also detained after Sirawit’s abduction. However, the military court rejected a police request to detain the five activists.

In total, 11 youth activists have been summoned by the police over the failed excursion to Rajabhakti Park in December 2015. Only six, however, currently face arrest warrants as they have refused to cooperate with the police, saying that they did nothing wrong, but only performed their role as active citizens.

Thanet Anantawong, 25, one of the six, reportedly fled to Laos last month.

Last year, Sirawit, Chonticha, and Abhisit were arrested for participating in a commemoration of the 2014 coup d’état.