Arrests of more activists in the last 24 hours, including lawyer Anon Nampa, showed again how Thai legal procedure was being misused to crack down on the right to free expression, said CU’s Legal Research and Development Centre.
Most of the arrested activists were charged with sedition, illegal gathering and other offences stemming from their participation in pro-democracy rallies held on July 18 and August 3.
The charges are an attempt to use the law to clamp down on those who have a different standpoint from the government’s, said the centre. It pointed out that the rallies have not caused public disorder, and participants had exercised their right to protest peacefully in line with the law.
Arrest warrants and serious charges stemming from the protests were questionable, the centre added.
It also asked why police had not arrested ultra-royalist and pro-government activists for holding counter-rallies.
The centre pointed out that lawyers, judges and police are public servants whose wages are paid for by Thai citizens through taxes. The people therefore expected the officials to be upright and work according to their country’s laws. However, recent developments show that law enforcers have taken sides against the public they are supposed to serve, said the centre.
Published : August 20, 2020
By : THE NATION