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in-focus

Anti-junta group remains defiant


The anti-junta activist group Resistant Citizen is standing its ground in the face of a warning by the Election Commission that a controversial anti-charter music video it produced may breach the referendum law.

Pansak Srithep, a leading figure of the group, said on Friday that the group would claim responsibility for having produced the music video and would also do a dance to the song next week.
He was responding to Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn’s earlier post on Facebook recommending the people who appeared in the video report to police if they had not intended to spread an anti-charter message. 
However the person who originally posted the video online will not be charged because it was uploaded before the referendum law took effect, the election commissioner wrote.
The controversial video features a song with lyrics criticising the draft constitution and is performed by high-profile political activists such as Sirawith Seritiwat, aka “Ja New”, Sombat Boonngamanong, or “Nuling”, and human rights lawyer Anon Nampa.
Pansak said that EC had always found fault in everything the group did. He said he had been charged with sedition when he was walking alone, adding that the EC must prove it was enforcing the law fairly. 
In a related development, the Bangkok Military Court ruled that it had the authority to try some member of the group in a separate matter after their lawyer contended the case should have been under the Criminal Court’s jurisdiction.
The members have been charged with violating the National Council for Peace and Order’s order banning political gathering of more than four people, after they held a symbolic activity, “Dear the (Stolen) Election”, to commemorate the unsuccessful national election on February 2, 2014.
Their lawyer yesterday requested that the case be submit to Constitutional Court to rule on whether it is constitutional to try civilians in the Military Court.
The case has been put on hold as the Military Court prosecutor decides whether to fulfil the request.
Resistant Citizen vowed to stage an act of civil disobedience if the case were not submitted to the Constitutional Court.
 

Published : June 10, 2016

By : The Nation