Red shirts detained after campaigning against draft charter

The Thai police detained members of an anti-establishment red shirt group for campaigning against the controversial draft constitution.

Police officers in plainclothes and in uniform on Sunday, 6 March 2016, detained Anurak Jentawanit, a leader of a red shirt group called ‘Ford Red Path’ and two other members of the group, at Victory Monument in central Bangkok.

The red shirts were arrested and taken to Phayathai Police Station after they campaigned against the controversial draft constitution, written by the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), by putting up leaflets with the simple message “Vote No”.

They were also wearing orange t-shirts with the same message.

Anurak posted on his Facebook page that before he staged the event he had asked plainclothes military officers for permission and the officers allowed him 15 minutes.

At the police station, the officers took pictures of the three and recorded their activity in the police report. They were, however, released without charge.

On 14 February, five police officers in uniform and seven in plainclothes intervened in a red shirt gathering at Victory Monument organised by Anurak.

He and several other red shirts were distributing stickers with the message ‘Vote No’ to campaign against the draft constitution.

The red shirts told the police officers that they only gathered peacefully and did everything in accordance with the law. However, the police cited NCPO Order No. 3/2015, which prohibits political gatherings of five or more persons.