Seven female activists from Loei province are being sued for allegedly violating the Public Assembly Act, after they led local residents in demonstrating against a Tambon Administrative Organisation (TAO) meeting held to authorise the use of national preserved-forest land and Agricultural Land Reform Office land for gold mining.
Loei’s Provincial Office of Attorney on Tuesday approved a lawsuit against Wiron Rujichaiwat, Lamplern Ruangrit, Mon Khunna, Pornthip Hongchai, Ranong Kongsaen, Bunraeng Srithong and Suphat Khunna – all from the local Khon Rak Ban Kerd Group – for violation of the Act, on the grounds that they led the protest against Khao Luang TAO’s meeting on May 16 and caused it to be cancelled.
As a result of the protest, 16 members of the TAO filed a complaint to the police claiming that the protesters had harassed them and forced the meeting to be abandoned.
According to Khon Rak Ban Kerd Group, the provincial attorney’s office asked the police on June 18 to charge the seven activists for having violated the Public Assembly Act and disrupted the officers’ work in an official place.
Loei Provincial Court has approved bail for all seven accused without requiring the provision of assets as a guarantee.
The court will summons all sides in the lawsuit on August 11.