2 Student Union of Thailand members, in an act of civil disobedience against the Emergency Decree, have torn up their summons a police station.
Left to right: Parit and Panutsaya tore their summoning warrants.
On 30 June, Student Union of Thailand members led by former President Parit Chiwarak and spokesperson Panusaya Sithijirawattanakulwent went to Pathumwan Police Station and tore up their summons as an act of civil disobedience against the implementation of the Emergency Decree. In an open letter they stated that the Decree was extended in order to control public protests against the government.
Together with Union President Juthatip Sirikhan, Parit and Panusaya had received summons from Pathumwan Police Station for violating the emergency decree by organizing a demonstration in commemoration of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a Thai activist who was kidnapped in Phnom Penh.
The demonstration was held at the Pathumwan skywalk on 5 June, a day after the disappearance and was well attended and widely covered. The Union was able to complete the event but later received a summons on 20 June.
Parit said that Thailand currently has no cases of domestic transmission of Covid-19, which can be recognized as safe. If the authorities are not sure of the situation, the Communicable Disease Act is adequate to manage it. So there is no reason at all to implement the Emergency Decree.
“The accusation made against us should not have been brought in the first place. We come here to Pathumwan Police Station to express our sincerity that we have no intention to flee. But we will carry out civil disobedience. We wish to deny that any progress has come from the Emergency Decree because we don’t accept the authority of this law and we will not act in line with this dictatorial law anymore.”, said Parit.
Panusaya said that the team was threatened by the authorities every time they staged protests. Eventually, they were accused of violating the Emergency Decree.
On 29 June, Parit revealed that he was fined twice under the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country Act 1992 at Phra Ratchawang and Bangkhen police stations. The offences concern the SUT activity of tying white bows in front of the Ministry of Defence, the Thai Army Club and the 1st and 11th Infantry Battalions, King's Own Bodyguard Regiment.
The activities were held in commemoration of Wanchalearm’s disappearance.
The commemoration event at the Skywalk on 20 June.
The Emergency Decree prohibits people from holding any public gathering that increases the risk of Covid-19 contagion. On 30 June, the Cabinet agreed to extend enforcement of the Decree for 1 more month since it first came into force in March.
iLaw, a legal watchdog NGO, reported that since the Decree was implemented on 26 March, 23 people have been prosecuted in 6 cases of violating the Decree.
The Decree centralizes national command and control to an ad hoc committee led by the Prime Minister. Many MPs from opposition parties and critics have decried the lengthy enforcement because it has been politically abused to control opposition parties and public protests.