Military Court issues arrest warrants for 9 junta critics

The Military Court has issued arrest warrants for nine political dissidents, most of whom were abducted by the authorities for criticising the junta.

Matichon Online reported that the Military Court of Bangkok on Thursday, 28 April 2016, issued arrest warrants for nine persons, eight of whom were abducted by the military yesterday.

The nine are: Supachai Saibutr, a photographer, Harit Mahaton, former reporter of Matichon and independent writer, Noppakao Kongsuwan, a person affiliated with the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), the main red shirt faction, Natthika Worathaiwich, Chaituch Rattanachan, Worawit Saksamutnan, Yothin Mankongsanga, Thonnawan Buranasiri and Kannasit Tangboonthina.

According to the warrants, the nine have allegedly breached Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law, and the Computer Crime Act. Legal officers of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the formal name of the Thai junta, brought the accusations.

The authorities took the eight to Bangkok Remand Prison for detention while one of the nine, whose identity is still unknown, is currently abroad, Matichon reported.

Nithi Kooltasnasilp, one of the ten individuals who were abducted on Wednesday morning together with Harit Mahaton, his friend, was released on Wednesday night after being interrogated by soldiers at the 11th Military Circle in Bangkok.

They were taken from the northeastern province of Khon Kaen to Bangkok by the military.

In addition to the 10 individuals abducted by the military on Wednesday morning, the military on Wednesday night arrested Burin Intin, one of the 16 activists who participated in a gathering to show solidarity with those who were abducted by the junta.

The soldiers took him from Phaya Thai Police Station in Bangkok while 15 other activists were released after a brief detention. His current fate is unknown.

If found guilty under the sedition law alone, the nine junta critics could face up to seven years’ imprisonment.