Complaints filed against 19 Sept protest leaders, supporter

Several police complaints have been filed against the leaders and a supporter of the 19 September protest, including a lèse majesté complaint.

Student protest leader Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (centre) standing in front of a row of police officers, backed by a group of volunteer protest guards on the morning of 20 September 2020, as she submitted a letter detailing the protesters' demand for monarchy reform to a representative of the Privy Council. 

Pro-establishment activist Tul Sitthisomwong on Monday (21 September) filed a lèse majesté complaint against the student protest leaders following the mass protest during the weekend (19 – 20 September).

Tul, a leader of the “multi-coloured shirt” movement and former member of the royalist People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), filed the complaint at Chana Songkhram Police Station against human rights lawyer Anon Nampa and student activists Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul and Parit Chiwarak, after they give speeches calling for monarchy reform during the weekend protest.

Tul said that the speeches were inappropriate and caused many Thai people to feel uncomfortable, and that he doesn’t want the activists to go to jail and expected them to be pardoned, but he doesn’t want them to talk about the monarchy in public.  He also said that he did not intend to harass the activists, but felt it was a duty as Thai citizens.

Another complaint was filed against actor Inthira “Sai” Charoenpura, who supports the student movement and often provides food and toilet facilities at protests, including the protest on Saturday (19 September).

The complaint against Inthira was filed by former Palang Pracharath Party MP candidate Sonthiya Sawasdee, who accused Inthira of supporting a movement to overthrow the monarchy and said that, as a celebrity, she should remain impartial. He did not, however, specify the offense of which she was guilty.

Sonthiya has previously filed lèse majesté charges against the US Ambassador, and a charge of violating the monarchy against Future Forward Party leaders.

Inthira later posted on Twitter that she never called for donations and is confused as to why she is being scrutinized.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) also filed a complaint against the protest leaders for damaging barriers and fences at Thammasat University and the concrete surfaces around Sanam Luang, while the Fine Arts Department filed a complaint accusing the protest leaders of vandalizing a historic site after they broke up the concrete ground at Sanam Luang to embed the second People’s Party plaque.

Khaosod English reported that police spokesperson Pol Lt Gen Piya Uthaiyo said that the authorities will press all relevant charges against the protest leaders and supporters, including the lèse majesté charge, despite Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha saying previously that King Vajiralongkorn has advised the authorities not to use the lèse majesté law.