Nine activists arrested after calling for release of 32 detained activists

Nine activists have been arrested on charges relating to a protest in front of the Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters on 2 August 2021 to demand the release of 32 detained activists.

The activists in the detention room at the Thanyuburi Provincial Court

Parit Chiwarak, Nutchanon Pairoj, Sirichai Natueng, and Phromsorn Weerathamjaree were arrested at the police headquarters on Sunday (8 August) on charges relating to the 2 August protest.

Parit announced on Saturday night (7 August) that, since he heard that the police were preparing to press charges against him for his participation in the 2 August protest, and as he noticed police officers following him, he would be going to the police headquarters on Sunday (8 August), and if the police would like to arrest him, they could do so there.

He then went to the police headquarters along with Nutchanon and Sirichai to show that they do not intend to flee or tamper with evidence, and were arrested. They were charged with violating the Emergency Decree, the Communicable Diseases Act, and the Sound Amplifier Act.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported they were taken to Khlong Ha Police Station, and then to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters.

The activist group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) said that the entrance to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters was blocked with razor wire and a unit of crowd control police, as a crowd gathered to demand their release.

TLHR said that Parit, Sirichai, and Phromsorn requested to have a trusted person with them while they are questioned, but the police denied their request, so the three activists refused to take part in the inquiry process.

Thatchapong Kaedam and Panupong Jadnok also went to Khlong Ha Police Station and were taken into custody. Panupong said that he was not surrendering himself, but came to meet the police after he heard that the police would be issuing arrest warrants against the leaders of the 2 August protest, so he went to meet the police to show that he has no intention to flee.

Three other people were also arrested on charges relating to the same protest. According to TLHR, Thanapat (last name withheld) and Panadda (last name withheld), members of the activist group Thalufah went to Khlong Ha Police Station with Thatchapong and Panupong. Meanwhile, Sam Samat, a stateless man who was previously arrested for joining the 28 February 2021 protest and allegedly pretending to urinate onto crowd control police gathering below the containers used to block protesters, was also arrested on 7 August.

At 21.00 last night (9 August), the Thanyaburi Provincial Court approved the temporary detention request for the 9 activists, and later denied them bail on the ground that the activists act without fearing the law and without considering the society's safety, peace, and order during the Covid-19 outbreaks. 

The Court also said that the activists are facing other charges and that they are likely to commit other offenses if they are released. The inquiry officer also object to granting them bail. 

TLHR reported that the 9 activists were taken to the Rangsit Temporary Prison for a 14-day quarantine period, after which they will be detained at the Thanyaburi Prison. 

There are also reports that the 9 activists refused last night (9 August) to be taken into a detention truck and were then forced onto the truck by police officers. TLHR also said that officers were taking pictures of the activists' family members. 

Voice TV also reported that Parit was likely assaulted while being forced into the detention truck, and that he was heard shouting "I can't breathe" and "help me." A voice shouting "People's revolution" was also heard from the truck. 

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