Colonel Piyapong Klinpan
Colonel Piyapong Klinpan

Junta may ban red-shirt media conference on crackdown

Breaking News September 13, 2017 15:53

By The Nation

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A press conference due to be held by the red-shirt umbrella group United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on its bid to seek justice for the 99 people killed in the 2010 crackdown might be banned if it involved politics, a junta spokesman said on Wednesday.

The UDD planned the event after the Supreme Court last month upheld an appeal, dismissing the criminal case against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban related to the dispersal of the red-shirt protesters seven years ago, on the grounds that it was not within their jurisdiction.

The case should have been handled rather by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Supreme Court for Political Office Holders, the court said.

But since the NACC had dismissed this case once already in 2015, it was unclear whether it could be revived now.

The UDD is looking to lodge a petition with the agency to bring Abhisit and Suthep back to court. The red-shirts have threatened to gather one million signatures to sue the NACC for malfeasance if it did not take up the case.

The press conference on the update of the issue has been planned for Thursday at Imperial World Lat Phrao, but Colonel Piyapong Klinpan, a spokesman of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said it might not be allowed due to the ban on political activities. He noted the need for order given that there were several national ceremonies to be held this year, an apparent reference to the Royal cremation next month.

If the time came and the country was in order, the NCPO would consider relaxing its controls, Piyapong said.

However, if the UDD insisted its conference wasn’t political, the NCPO would still have to deploy troops and police to help provide security and keep order, the spokesman said.

Piyapong said the UDD should be “careful” if it planned any activities that would involve politics.

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