Democracy activists sue Thai authorities over abuse of rights

Anti-junta activists have filed a civil lawsuit against the Thai army, police, and the Prime Minister’s Office for abusing the rights of peaceful demonstrators.  

On 24 January 2017, activists from the New Democracy Movement (NDM) led by Rangsiman Rome, key leader of the group, attended a preliminary hearing at the Southern Bangkok Civil Court.

A civil lawsuit has been filed against the Royal Thai Army, the Royal Thai Police, and the Prime Minister’s Office, who are accused of malfeasance and abuse of human rights in arresting and abusing NDM activists and other demonstrators who on 22 May 2015 participated in a peaceful gathering to commemorate the 2014 coup d’état .

The group demands about 16.5 million baht in compensation from the three public agencies.

Kritsarang Nutcharat, a lawyer representing NDM, said that many anti-junta activists were physically assaulted by about 20 security officers during the peaceful demonstration.

At the hearing, Rangsiman said that the reconciliation process which the junta the military government is trying to foster will not succeed if people still suffer injustice.

He added that the group will continue to demand justice for Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, an NDM activist accused of violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, for sharing on his Facebook account a controversial biography of King Vajiralongkorn published by BBC Thai.  

The court will hold the first hearing on the case on 18 July 2017.

Student being arrested in 2015 Coup comemoration (file photo)

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