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Bangkok court denies request for arrest warrants for anti-government protesters



PHOTO: Facebook/ไทยไม่ทน สามัคคีประชาชน เพื่อประเทศไทย - United People for Thailand UPT

A Bangkok court has rejected a request to issue arrests warrants for 2 anti-government protesters. News of the activists’ potential arrest led to a planned rally being cancelled. However, the Bangkok South Municipal Court has decreed that as the charges in question carry a prison term of no more than 3 years, police must first issue a summons for the 2 activists.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the court made the ruling yesterday, after police had sought arrest warrants for Red Shirt activists, Nattawut Saikuar and Sombat Boonngamanong, who had organised an anti-government rally at the Asok intersection in the capital. The protesters have pledged to lead rallies every day until PM Prayut Chan-o-cha resigns, and have declared the Asok intersection their stronghold.

Yesterday, Nattawut was forced to call off the rally after being advised that police were seeking an arrest warrant for him. The protest leader posted on Facebook to confirm the rally was cancelled while he tried to confirm news of the warrant.

Also yesterday, it was reported that more serious charges are being brought against Nattawut, Sombat, and fellow activist Thanat Thanakit-amnuay. The Bangkok Post reports that Seksakol Atthawong from the PM’s Office has filed an official request with police to press charges of incitement, sedition, attempting to overthrow a government, as well as violating the emergency decree and disease control law. The police have confirmed they are now working on issuing a summons for the activists.

In related news, Piya Tawichai from the Metropolitan Police Bureau has denied that police drove a vehicle into a 14 year old activist before arresting him during a rally on Tuesday evening. According to Piya, only 1 person was injured during the operation and that was a 45 year old man, named in the Bangkok Post report as Wisit Fuengsila.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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