Military arrests activist over plan to wear red shirt on cremation day

More than a dozen soldiers have arrested an anti-junta activist who has vowed to wear a red shirt on the day of the cremation of the late King Bhumibol.

On 24 October 2017, three soldiers in uniform and 11 others in plain clothes arrested Ekkachai Hongkangwan, a political activist and former lèse majesté convict, at his house.

The military asked him whether he preferred to be taken to a resort in Kanchanaburi Province for a few days or an unspecified military base.

The soldiers showed up after he posted on his Facebook account on Friday that he plans to wear a red shirt, an anti-establishment symbol, on Thursday, the day of the cremation of the late King, when Thai people are expected to wear black.

He said that many people threatened him on Facebook after he posted the statement, adding that a police officer on Saturday warned him about his plan, but he replied that he would do it.

He said that his intention was to exercise his right to question why everyone has to wear black.

Ekkachai was imprisoned for two years and eight months after he was convicted under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, for selling CD copies of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation news programme. He was released in November 2015.

Ekkachai Hongkangwan (file photo)

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