Submitted on Fri, 2018-02-02 21:02
Bangkok police have arrested four activists who performed a mime mocking the deputy junta head in public. The four have been fined for violating the public assembly law.
On 2 February 2018, the authorities arrested four activists from a pro-democracy group called the Young People for Social-Democracy Movement (YPD) at the skywalk near Victory Monument, Bangkok. The arrest occurred after the four performed a mime about the corruption allegations against Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.
The four activists are Thatchapong Kaedam, Tiwat Dumkaew, Panjasak Boon-ngam and Lak (pseudonym). The police accused them of violating the 2015 Public Assembly Act for failing to give prior notice to the authorities before holding the activity. Each of them paid a fine of 2,500 baht and the police set them free.
Thatchapong told Prachatai they did not tell the authorities in advance because the event was not an assembly, but merely a mime, adding that they did not use any speaker. Plus, there were only four people joining the activity so it should not fall under the Public Assembly Act, which prohibits public gathering of five people or more.
[Update] However, The Public Assembly Act under which they were arrested and fined does not limit the size of assemblies. NCPO Order 3/2015 bans political gatherings of 5 or more people. Thatchapong seems to have confused the two.
The activist also explained that the mime, titled “Up to Pom ,” (Pom is Prawit’s nickname), was about the controversies involving the deputy junta head, such as his luxury watches, his expensive trip to Hawaii and his response to the death of cadet Phakhaphong Tanyakan. They performed the mime for 30 minutes until the finish, then the police arrested them and took them to Phayathai Police Station.
The police arrest the four activists