Pressing all opponents

The military dictatorship appears to have decided to double-down on its repression of those it considers opponents.

The regime’s current round of repression appears to be focusing not on political activists but those the regime’s thugs consider “fellow travelers.” Two examples show how this is happening.

In a recent Facebook post, Khaosod journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk states:

I received a call from the Deputy Head of the Technology Crime Suppression Division informing me at about 6.40pm that a police of the rank of Police Lieutenant Colonel is charging me of violating sedition law through an estimate 5 Facebook postings. I insist that I criticize the military regime in good faith and will with my lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights meet with police to hear charges next Tuesday, Aug. 8. I will continue the criticize the illegitimate military regime until they take away my smartphone. BTW, I am honoured to be represented by Khun Yaowalak Anuphan , head of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights as my lawyer.

In a second case, Prachatai reports that:

On 31 July 2017, Sirikan Charoensiri, a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), received a letter from Chanasongkram Police Station, summoning her to hear charges against her at 10:30 am on 8 August.

This summons flows from a case where she was representing political activists:

The letter states that she is accused of violating Articles 172 and 174 of the Criminal Code for making false accusations against investigating officers….

The accusation relates to Sirikan’s refusal to allow a police officer to search her car without a warrant in front of the Military Court of Bangkok on 27 June 2015.

At the time, the police wanted to confiscate the mobile phones of some of the 14 pro-democracy activists she represented which were in Sirikan’s car, but she refused, claiming that the police did not present a warrant to search her car.

Sirikan later file a complaint against the police under Article 157 of the Criminal Code — malfeasance in office — pointing out that the officers unlawfully confiscated her car for the search.

She is also accused under Article 368 of the Criminal Code for disobeying the orders of an official.

Clearly the military dictatorship is expanding its repression. This is probably because it feels threatened by the rising red shirts/pro-Yingluck Shinawatra action and a desire to trample any voice that may seek to throw grit in the wheels of the junta’s “election” plans.

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