TWO activist groups held a rally in front of the US embassy this afternoon (May 10) to send a message to US President Joe Biden and Asean leaders that they also focus on Thai political prisoners at their talks this week, Matichon newspaper said.
The Asean-US Special Summit is being held in Washington with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attending the talks. The leaders will review the current comprehensive Asean-US Strategic Partnership and discuss ways to further strengthen Asean-US cooperation for the future.
The Asean leaders will be hosted to dinner by President Biden on May 12 and have a meeting with him on May 13, where they will also exchange views on regional and global issues.
With this in mind members of the People Committee on Cancelling 112, led by Mr. Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, and Labour Network for People’s Rights staged their rally calling for the release of 11 political prisoners and repealing Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law, to grant democratic freedom to the Thai people and the Asean community.
Reporters present at the rally said participants took turns in addressing human rights issues and raised photos of political prisoners for whom they are demanding the right to temporary release.
Later a representative from the US embassy came out to receive their letter after which the demonstrators gave the three-finger salute and shouted “Release our friends, cancel 112.” They also burnt an image of Gen. Prayut.
However this same evening a political activist only identified as Mint was arrested under Section 112 charges at a restaurant on Chaengwattana road under the same warrant issued for another political activist also only identified as Joseph over speeches they gave at a demonstration at King Taksin monument in Wongwian Yai on April 6, 2022.
Mint had joined the rally in front of the US embassy and after that came here with other activists for a meal with Somyot being among them.
Ten policemen had followed her from the embassy to the restaurant and waited for her to finish eating before arresting her.
Top: Activists display placards during their rally in front of the US embassy today.
Home Page: Mint being arrested and driven to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau office on Vibhavadi Rangsit road by Somyot with a policeman accompanying them. Photos: Matichon