Four Arrests of Pro-Democracy Leaders After Their Surrender

Four well-known pro-democracy activists surrendered to the Royal Thai Police yesterday afternoon, following arrest warrants issued for allegedly violating the Emergency Decree.

The arrest warrants by the Tanyaburi Provincial Court were issued against Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Sirichai “New” Nathuang, Nutchanon Pairote, and Promsorn “Fah” Veerathamjaree.

They were requested by the Khlong Ha police in Khlong Luang district after protest leaders organized a rally to demand Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa’s release.

The activists, who protested at the Region 1 Border Police Bureau on August 2nd, face charges for organizing an illegal gathering with more than five people.

Authorities argued that the protest increased the risk of spreading Covid-19, violating the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Diseases Control Act.

Amid the third pandemic wave, the government imposed Covid-related stricter measures, including a ban on gatherings of more than five people in dark red zones.

Authorities claimed they aimed to prevent the spread of Covid-19. But many protesters have expressed their opposition to such measures.

The four protest leaders were arrested after reporting to the police headquarters and were transferred to the Khlong Ha Police Station around 3:00 p.m.

Currently, they are at the Region 1 Border Police Bureau, where they will be questioned before being taken to the Thanyaburi Provincial Court today.

Bail was denied to the four activists.

But Penguin told reporters that the upcoming car-mob protest, organized by United Thammasat for Demonstration and planned to be held on Tuesday, will take place whether they are released on bail or not.

Meanwhile, prominent protest group Free Youth has experienced online backlash after Saturday’s heating protest.

Despite widespread support for the political messages advocated by anti-government protesters, democracy supporters started to disagree with aggressive rallies.

On Saturday, online users have started promoting the hashtag “#แบนFreeYOUTH” or “Ban Free Youth” on Twitter.

According to the Royal Thai Police, the Free The youth group has used more aggressive tactics during its last rallies.