19 red shirts indicted for violating junta’s assembly ban

A military prosecutor has indicted 19 members of the anti-establishment red-shirt movement for breaking the junta’s political gathering ban.

On 16 December 2016, a military prosecutor indicted 19 leading members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), the main red shirt faction, iLaw reported.

The 19 were indicted for breaking the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Head’s Order No. 3/2015. The order prohibits political gatherings of five or more persons.

The group was accused of the offence for holding a gathering on 19 June 2016 to launch centers to monitor the referendum for the junta-sponsored draft constitution.

Some of the 19 are: Jatuporn Prompan, the UDD Secretary-General; Nattawut Saikua, the UDD President; Thida Thavornseth, UDD chairperson; Weng Tojirakarn, Veerakarn Musikapong, and Nisit Sinthupai and others.

Of the 19, Jatuporn is currently detained in Bangkok Remand Prison for allegedly inciting violence during the 2010 UDD demonstration in Bangkok.

According to Winyat Chatmontri, the defence lawyer for the 19, the military prosecutor did not elaborate the reasons the 19 were indicted. He maintains the suspects merely gathered for a press conference to launch the referendum watch centres.

The lawyer will submit bail request for his clients, except Jatuporn who is currently detained for other charges.

Nattawut Saikua (centre), the UDD President in front of the Military Court of Bangkok on 16 December 2016 (Photo from Banrasdr's Facebook account)

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