Police ask organiser of seminar on draft charter whether he has a brain

A police officer has intimidated a student activist from Ramkhamhaeng University over an academic seminar on the junta-sponsored draft constitution, asking the student whether he has a brain or not.

Nanthapong Panmat, of the Ramkhamhaeng University activist group Young People for Social-Democracy Movement, posted a message on his Facebook account at 4:37 pm on Wednesday, 15 June 2016, saying that police officers and soldiers visited him to discuss an upcoming ‘Draft Constitution + Referendum’ seminar organised by the group.

The seminar, which will provide a platform for people from different political views to voice their opinions about the draft constitution and the referendum, is scheduled for 19 June at Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok.

Nanthapong reported via Facebook that the authorities visited him at about 3:30 pm and had a discussion with him for about one hour.

At first the discussion went well, but he was intimidated by Pol Col Pattana Phetsayanawin, one of about 20 police officers and soldiers who visited him.

The Police Colonel implied that organising such an event is prohibited by law and asked Nanthapong whether he could read or write or has a brain or not, Nanthapong wrote on his Facebook account.

“I’m not going to kill anyone or sell drugs for organising the event. [It’s an event which] invites everyone to talk about the draft constitution not just those who are against the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)” said Nanthapong.

Despite the intimidation from the authorities, the student activist said that the seminar will be held as originally scheduled.

Police officers and soldiers in discussion with Nanthapong Panmat on 15 June 2016 over a planned seminar on the 2016 draft constitution (Photo from Nanthapong’s Facebook account)