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Thai Military Court Approves Arrest Warrants for Former Ministers, Journalists, Academics and Activists



Thai soldiers guard the military court in Bangkok

Thai soldiers guard the military court in Bangkok

BANGKOK – Thailand’s military court has issued warrants for the arrest of 28 people for resisting the orders of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to report to the authorities. They include former ministers, journalists, academics and activists who have insulted the royal institution.
Pol Col Prasobchok Prommoon, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), said that the Bangkok court issued the warrants as requested by CSD interrogatorst.
They include Jakrapob Penkair, former prime minister’s office minister who is opposing the May 22 coup abroad, Khanchai Boonpan, founder and chair of Matichon newspaper, well-known academic Giles Ji Ungpakorn, Chatwadee “Rose” Amornpat who lives in England, and Ekapob Luara also known as Tang Acheewa.
The last two persons insulted the monarchy and are considered as violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code.
Most of the people oppose the coup.
For failing to surrender as the NCPO ordered, they are liable to up to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to Bt40,000.
Earlier deputy police chief Pol Gen Aek Angsananont reported that Ms Chatwadee was applying for the British nationality.
If she still holds Thai citizenship, she can be arrested for prosecution in Thailand now. If not, that is if her bid for a nationality change is approved, the Thai authorities will seek her extradition.
Col Prasobchoke said that Matichon managing director Thakoon Bunpan later informed the police that Mr Khanchai had undergone heart surgery at Bangkok Hospital and had not intended to resist the NCPO order.
Consequently, the police would seek the withdrawal of his arrest warrant, Col Prasonchoke said.

Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Police have set up a special committee to closely monitor information related to lese majeste comment and the country’s security.

Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, the Deputy National Police Chief and present acting National Police Chief, has been called upon to set up a committee chaired by the national police chief.

The members of the committee are largely representatives of the Special Branch Bureau, Office of Information and Communication Technology, and Foreign Affairs Division, and have been specially assigned to investigate alleged inappropriate content in any type of media including online messaging. Anyone possessing, transferring, or sharing such content will be penalized severely.

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