This article is from Prachatai, an independent news site in Thailand, and is republished on Global Voices as part of a content-sharing agreement.The arrest and continuing detention of 14 anti-Junta activists in Thailand has sparked outrage across the country. It also inspired many academics to call for the immediate release of the activists.
Despite the risk of being sent to jail for seven years by the military court and harassment from the Thai junta, the 14 embattled anti-junta activists, most of them university students, from the Neo Democracy Movement (NDM) still stand firm on their demands for democracy against the Thai military regime.
The 14 are:
1. Rangsiman Rome
2. Wason Setthasit
3. Songtham Kaewpanpruk
4. Phayu Boonsopon
5. Apiwat Soontararak
6. Rattapon Supsopon
7. Supachai Phuklongploy
8. Abhisit Suebnapa
9. Panupong Sritananuwat
10. Suwicha Pitangkorn
11. Pakorn Areekul
12. Jatupat Boonpattararaksa
13. Pornchai Yuanyee
14. Conticha Jangreaw
22 May 2015
Students gathered in two places in Thailand (Bangkok and Khon Kaen) to stage peaceful protests to commemorate the first anniversary of the coup when the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took control of Thailand on 22 May 2014.
In Bangkok, anti-coup activists and students faced a crackdown by police (in uniform and plain-clothes) in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC), leaving at least three injured and hospitalized. The police detained 37 activists after the clash. Over 100 people then gathered in front of Pathumwan Police Station to give moral support to the detainees. Eight anti-coup activists were summoned to hear charges, but only one reported to the police and was released on bail.
Meanwhile, in Khon Kaen, seven student activists from the student-led human rights and environmental group Dao Din held a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the coup d’état. They too were detained by the police for their peaceful act at the Democracy Monument in Khon Kaen. The students were released on bail the next day.
19 June 2015
Three Dao Din students were arrested and detained for drawing paintings with anti-coup messages.
24 June 2015
Student activists showed up in Samyan District of Bangkok, near Pathumwan Police Station, to bring charges against police for using unnecessary force to crack down on activists’ peaceful commemoration of the coup's first anniversary in front of the BACC.
They were later joined by Dao Din students who arrived to show moral support. Together they read a manifesto of the Neo Democracy Movement and called on people to join the movement.
The police refused to accept charges brought by the activists.
After the crowd dispersed at night, one female activist was arrested on her way home, but then released after the officer talked to his supervisor.
25 June 2015
Officers and undercover police surrounded Suan Nguen Mee Ma, while activists read a statement showing resistance to the coup and military edicts. They said they would not resist officers if they are to be arrested. They also called for action in front of the Democracy Monument in Bangkok at 17:00.
26 June 2015
The military court issued arrest warrants for 14 activists of the Neo Democracy Movement. They are charged with disturbing social peace and causing social conflict against NCPO Order No. 3/2015 and violating NCPO Order No. 7/2014, which bans any political gathering of more than five. These 14 activists are the same activists who were previously detained on 22 May 2015.
At 17:15, 14 activists were arrested (for provoking or stirring up unrest in society, violating Articles 116 and 83 of the Criminal Code) and brought to Phra Ratchawang Police Station. They were kept detained at Bangkok Remand Prison.