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Letter from Bow: From a dirty cell under a despicable dictatorship

Nuttaa ‘Bow’ Mahattana, on the second night of her detention with 14 other democracy activists, scribbled a letter on a scrap of paper explaining how their rights have been violated.

1. Were we arrested or did we turn ourselves in?

No summons was issued after Colonel Burin made a complaint about the leaders of the group calling for an election. Instead, the leaders of the group ourselves proposed to the police that we were willing to go with them after we read our declaration. This is equivalent to proposing that we turn ourselves in without being arrested. But in the record of the accusations made against us, the police use the word “arrest.” This is not in line with the facts and is also slander which affords weight to the petition to the court by the investigation officials calling for our further detention and opposing bail.
2.Persecution through arbitrary detention
The authorities claim to have the power to detain us before submitting a petition to the court for our detention. This is the case even though it is unnecessary the freedom of the accused will not be an obstacle to the investigation. But the investigation officials still detained us, even though we signed statements already after turning ourselves in. We did not answer questions verbally but submitted statements in writing as is our right as accused. However, the officials immediately detained us, and further persecuted us by making further accusations against us in addition to the original five. This was to justify an additional day of detention by claiming that they had to question us further. As there was no reason to detain us for questioning, this constitutes arbitrary detention. I suspect that the motivation is to prevent us from being able to communicate with society and the press, and for the authorities to prepare their petition for detention based on falsehoods so that the court will deny bail. This is not only unjust, but reflects the depths that the dictatorship and their lackeys, especially high-ranking police, are willing to go to close their own eyes to their actions, deceive society, and incriminate others to achieve political advantage. I hope that this experience of detention will not frighten us.
Let me say that these actions, and the prior actions of the dictatorship, are not enough to make us afraid. But they instead drive home the nefariousness of the unjust and arbitrary exercise of power which is routine in non-democratic societies.
This is a further reason why we must stop this exercise of power, by demanding that the NCPO cease running the government and instead become a caretaker government to organise elections within this year. The NCPO must be stopped from extending their time in power and the further destruction of the country.
Nuttaa ‘Bow’ Mahattana was arrested on 22 May for trying to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 Coup


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