16 arrested for showing solidarity with 10 abducted by military

Thai police have detained 16 activists for standing still to show solidarity with 10 persons abducted earlier by the military. One of the 16 was later taken away by the military after the arrest.

Police officers at about 6:30 pm on Wednesday, 27 April 2016, arrested 16 people for gathering at the Victory Monument in Bangkok and standing still to show solidarity with 10 people abducted by the military on Wednesday morning.

Among the activists were Anon Nampa and Pansak Srithep, core leaders of Resistant Citizen Group, Natchacha Kongudom, Pakorn Areekul, Natapat Akhad, Abhisit Sapnaphapan, Burin Indin and others.  

The arrests were made minutes after they gathered at the venue. They were later taken to Phaya Thai Police Station.

Police at the station informed Anon, who earlier posted a message on his Facebook account to invite people to participate in the gathering, that he was accused of breaking the Public Assembly Act for not asking for permission from the authorities for the activity.     

At about 10:20 pm the police released 13 of the 16. Pakorn and Abhisit, however, were transferred to Phatumwan Police Station because Phatumwan police had earlier issued arrest warrants for these two and several other activists for participating in a gathering to commemorate the 2014 coup d’état last year.

At Phatumwan Police Station, they were joined by Rangsiman Rome, Cholticha Jang-rew and Rattapon Supakoson, three other pro-democracy activists who face the same arrest warrant. The police, however, released the five at 1:45 am on Thursday without bail or forcing them to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

One of the 16, Burin Intin, however, was taken by the military from Phaya Thai Police Station. The soldiers did not disclose any details as to why or where they were taking him. His current location is unknown.

Many activists at the event are familiar faces at anti-junta activities, but Burin had not been seen at any earlier anti-junta gathering.

A soldier takes Burin Indin away from Phaya Thai Police Station, 27 April 2016