Students in Phrae rally for lèse majesté abolition, face police surveillance

The Phrae Democracy Lovers network has reported that police got from the Vice Principal of Nareerat School the names of students involved in a display of banners and card images promoting democracy and the abolition of the lèse majesté law at the school’s sports day on 11 December.

Students with a banner showing the Democracy Monument and the message "Nation, liberty, people".

The regular annual sports day at Nareerat School, Phrae Province, went viral on the internet as students were seen raising banners with messages like “Nation, liberty, people” or “Democracy is being exploited by a disgusting person”.

There is also footage of a card image, where students in the stand, each holding a different card, together turned a picture or message into 112, referring to the Section 112 of the Criminal Code which prohibits people from defaming or expressing hostility to the king, queen, heir-apparent and regent.

The stand also chanted “Very good. Very good. Very brave. Very brave. Thank you,” copying King Vajiralongkorn’s words to one of his supporters at a public walkabout on 23 October.

The banner states "Democracy is being exploited by a disgusting person".

The network told Prachatai that after the incident went viral, Phrae provincial police asked the Vice Principal for information on the students involved. The Vice Principal gave them the names and phone numbers.

According to the network, 2 students alleged of being involved in the rally were called from an unknown phone number.

On 12 December, at a meeting between teachers and students, those involved in the rally were separated out to attend another meeting in the afternoon.

On 11 December evening, Bad Students, a student activist group, tweeted to ask the public to watch what was happening at Nareerat School.