Human rights lawyer Anon arrested again in Bangkok

PHOTO: Will Langston

Thai human rights lawyer Anon Nampa is in custody once more after being arrested last night in relation to his involvement in an anti-government rally in Bangkok on August 3. Anon was apprehended while appearing at the Criminal Court in his role as defence lawyer in an unrelated case. He has been charged with inciting public unrest, along with a number of other offences. It’s understood he is being held at Chana Songkhram police station, in the capital.

The development comes as police sought arrest warrants for Anon and 5 other political activists, on charges including sedition, violating the computer crimes act, and violating the disease control law. In a further development, 3 members of the Free Youth movement have been arrested for their role in a July 18 protest at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok.

Anon has been a key figure in anti-government protests over the last few weeks, calling for the dissolution of parliament and reform of the Thai constitution and the monarchy. He is challenging the police on their right to arrest him while appearing at the Criminal Court in the capacity of defence counsel. Anon says the arrest of a lawyer in such circumstances can only take place if permission is granted in advance by the Director-General of the Criminal Court.

According to a Thai PBS World report, Anon claims he was being followed by two motorbikes as he made the journey from his office to the court. At the time, he was out on bail after a prior arrest on similar charges.

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Pannika Wanich, spokeswoman for the Kao Na (Progressive) movement, says the group is looking at ways it can assist the human rights lawyer.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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