Police intimidate activists rallying in Isaan

The police have intimidated activists during a month long rally to raise awareness of rights of the northeastern people, and ordered them to stop their campaign. 
The police on Friday at Srisalai District of Sisaket Province told the activists from the New E-Saan Movement that they were violating the Public Assembly Act after they have been campaigning in the region for almost a month. The police also searched a car belonging to the group and a purse inside, but did not show any search warrant, a New E-Saan activist told Prachatai. 
The New E-Saan Movement is composed of student activists and campaigners for various rights of the Isaan people, such as the right to freedom of expression, the right to public assembly, community rights, rights to resources and the right to participate in policy-making which may affect the livelihoods of local people and the environment. The Walk4Rights rally started on 5 June in Chaiyaphum Province. During the walk from northern to southern Isaan, the authorities have monitored them very closely and intimidated them from time to time.  
On Thursday 30 June 2016, the police attempted to seize the mobile phones of the activists due to a post on the New E-Saan Movement Facebook page denouncing the controversial Water Resources Bill, which is expected to be deliberated soon by the National Legislative Assembly. “The fact that the Water Bill will be legislated during the time that Thailand is undemocratic and without participation from the public is one of the reasons why we don’t want this bill from the junta,” the post said. After the police failed to take the mobile phones from the activists, they ordered the activists to delete the post. The post, however, is still available to the public. 
The police raids the car of New Saan Movement


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