BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai authorities arrested a student leader on Friday over a protest against anti-government last month, police said, just days before a large demonstration planned for Sunday.
Parit Chiwarak, a pro-democracy student, one of the leaders of the recent protests of Thailand’s anti-government, flashes a salute with three fingers, when he is escorted after his arrest, at the police station in Bangkok, Thailand, August 14, 2020. REUTERS / Athit Perawongmetha
Student groups have been touring the country almost every day since July 18, calling for an end to military influence over Thai politics following a controversial election last year held by junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister five years after he first took power took part in an army of 2014 coup.
Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, 22, was arrested on the outskirts of Bangkok when he traveled after a protest, posting a video on his Facebook page.
“I would like to invite you to go to the investigating officers responsible for this case,” said a man who identified himself as a member of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police in the video, citing a court arrest warrant. before at least four other men physically carried Parit in a car.
The video was apparently made by a friend of Parit’s and was posted on his page.
“We can hold him for 48 hours for questioning,” Bangkok Police Chief Somprasong Yentuam told deputy reporters.
“Once we are ready, we will take him to court to ask for detention,” he said.
Somprasong said Parit would be charged with violating internal security by ‘increasing unrest and insanity’, as well as violating coronavirus regulations banning public meetings by helping organize a July 18 demonstration.
Human Rights Watch said the charges should be dropped and he should be released immediately.
Police on Friday also asked a court to seize the bail for human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, 35, and student activist Panupong Jadnok, 23, who arrested them on the same charges as Parit last week, Human Rights Watch said.
Prime Minister Prayuth has called for unity in light of the protest by students, saying the government is limited to the Protestants.
The groups of student protesters plan to stage a major protest on Sunday to intensify their demand for the constitutionally supported constitution and call for new elections.
Report by Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Edited by Frances Kerry