Teen protestor claims police harassment

A child protestor aged only 13 is claiming he was followed and harassed by police after a protest at Sanam Luang – Democracy Monument – on Fathers’ Day earlier this week.

“Oia” (pseudonym) said that on Monday he tried to stage a protest calling for the repeal of the royal defamation law during an event commemorating the birthday of the late King Bhumibol.

Oia was stopped by plainclothes police officers near Thammasat University, across the street from Sanam Luang. According to Prachatai, the officers confiscated his sign saying “Repeal Section 112” and told him to move on.

At McDonald’s bear the Democracy Monument, Oia said another officer came to talk to him and confiscated more signs, so he went home to make another sign with the same message before returning in the evening. On the way back, he was stopped by plainclothes police near the Rattanakosin Hotel, who tried to convince him to go back to McDonald’s. They even offered to give him a lift on a police motorcycle or to take him to a police station in a van.

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After negotiations, Oia agreed to go back to the McDonald’s and noticed officers following him and taking pictures of him. He said he was approached by Pol Capt Chumphon Suthiprapha, an inspector from Metropolitan Police Division 2, who threatened him unless the 13 year old showed him what was on the piece of paper.

Teen protestor claims police harassment | News by Thaiger
A police officer follows the protestor into McDonald’s and continues to harass him.

An argument then took place, and the officer then asked for Oia’s name and ID card. Around 10 plainclothes police then appeared with personnel from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS).

Around 10 minutes later, he received a call from his family telling him a police officer had visited them.

Oia is a regular protester. He was previously charged with violating the Emergency Decree in September 2021 and April of this year.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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