Rangsiman faces charges from 2016 after weekend protest

After Rangsiman Rome led a protest on Saturday attended by hundreds, Bangkok police transferred the pro-democracy activist to Khon Kaen to face prosecution for campaigning against the junta’s constitution in 2016. 
 
On 11 February 2018, police transferred Rangsiman from Bangkok to Mueang Khon Kaen Police Station to hear charges of violating the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order’s (NCPO) Order 3/2015, the junta’s ban on political gatherings of five people or more. The accusations relate to Rome’s participation in a public seminar criticising the junta’s constitution on 31 July 2016.
 
The authorities granted Rangsiman bail after he offered 10,000 baht as surety. He and eight other suspects will be tried at the Khon Kaen Provincial Court on 23 March. Two among the eight are staff from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) who merely observed the event.
 
Before the transfer to Khon Kaen, Rangsiman joined a rally themed “Stop prolonging power, stop postponing elections” at the Democracy Monument, Bangkok. Some 500 people participated in the protest urging the NCPO to step down. 
 
After the event finished, Rangsiman and two other activists who led the protest reported to the police. The authorities accused them of sedition and violating the junta’s ban on public assemblies for staging an earlier protest on 27 January at the skywalk near MBK department store. 
 
The police accepted the Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights’ offer of 100,000 baht as bail surety for each activist. However, Rome was transferred to Khon Kaen to face his outstanding charges. 
 
 
A Khon Kaen police officer records Rangsiman’s fingerprints