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Junta releases UDD leaders

RED SHIRTS SAY THEY WERE TREATED WITH RESPECT; MUST INFORM NCPO OF THEIR WHEREABOUTS

THE NATIONAL Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) released some leaders of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) after seven days in detention in the late afternoon yesterday.

Those released included UDD chairman Jatuporn Prompan, Nuttawut Saikuar, Virakarn Musigapong, Weng Tojirakarn and Thida Tavonseth.

NCPO spokesman Winthai Suvari said that to conform with the martial law that allows only seven days of detention, the NCPO is releasing detainees held since May 22.

Others under detention continued to be held because they faced more charges to which martial laws did not apply.

NCPO deputy spokesperson Sirichan Nga-thong said yesterday, in the early afternoon, that the number of people who reported to the NCPO by Tuesday was 200. Of these, 124 had been released and 53 have yet to report themselves.

Four people, who failed to report to the NCPO after being summoned - Charupong Ruangsuwan, Chaturon Chaisang, Sombat Boonngarmanong and Prasit Chaisrisa - have seen their assets frozen.

Sirichan said those released had signed an agreement not to express comments that would instigate riots or create public misunderstanding and to notify the NCPO of their whereabouts. The agency must be able to contact them when needed, it said. In cases where they wished to leave the country, they must keep the NCPO informed.

Last Thursday, PDRC and red-shirt leaders, Pheu Thai and Democrat members and government representatives reported for a meeting chaired by General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

They found themselves in the Army's custody after the coup was declared. Among the group released yesterday, the UDD were the last to leave.

Troops yesterday led red-shirt leaders and former ministers from military camps to the Army Auditorium in Thewes after they had been detained for seven days - the maximum under the law.

Yesterday morning Salaktham Tojirakarn, son of Weng and Thida, sent a letter to General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the NCPO chief, asking for permission to visit his parents.

Salaktham also called on the NCPO to allow relatives and lawyers to visit all people still in detention.

On Tuesday night, UDD leaders appeared on media for the first time since the military detained them last Thursday.

The programme included video clips provided by the NCPO showing living conditions of UDD detainees under the military's care.

Former Democrat MP Tankhun Jitt-itsara also appeared in the video clip.

The clip showed the detainees' bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms in houses not identified.

The accommodation also included air-conditioning, a praying corner and coffee facilities.

The clip also showed the UDD leaders and Tankhun talking and relaxing with soldiers. Jatuporn and Virakarn said the military had taken good care of them and the other prisoners.

There were no assaults or chain restraints and the people in custody were treated respectfully as they were key leaders.




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