Thai military arrest southern political activist, red shirt

After a series of arson and bomb attacks rocked five provinces in Southern Thailand on Thursday night and Mother’s Day, the Thai military arrested a southern political activist and a red shirt and detained them in military bases.

Many military officers from Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) of Phraya Ratsadanu Pradit Camp, and police and administrative officers from Huai Yot District of the southern province of Trang at 6:30 am on Saturday, 13 August 2016, arrested Prapas Rotchanapithak, a local political and human rights activist.

The authorities searched his house and confiscated his mobile phone, bank account, i-pad, diary and documents about political movements of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), the main red shirt faction affiliated with Thaksin Shinawatra.

The authorities cited Section 44 of the Interim Charter which gives the authorities absolute power in maintaining security to arrest Prapas and search his house.

After his arrest, he was taken to Mueang Trang Police Station. The police report recorded that Prapas allegedly incited conflict and instability.

The authorities said that he would be taken to the 43rd Military Circle in Nakhon Si Thammarat for further interrogation.

On the same day, at Chaiyapat Triudom, a UDD leader in the central province of Ang Thong, reported that 7-8 military officers at 6 am arrested and searched the house of Narong Padungsaksi, a local UDD member.

After the arrest, the soldiers took Narong to an unknown location. At the time of writing, his whereabouts remain unknown.

According to Narong’s close associate, the authorities said that they were searching for bombs because certain informants told them that there were bombs in the house.

They confiscated the mobile phones of Narong, his wife and three of his employees and CDs which were found in the house.  

The arrest of the two came shortly after a series of arson and bomb attacks in five provinces of Southern Thailand on Thursday night and Friday, Thailand's Mother's Day and the birthday of HM the Queen. The attacks left four dead and dozens, many of whom are foreign tourists, injured.