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Wanted activists attend rally and surrender to police


Three wanted activists turned themselves in to the police on Saturday night soon after leading an assembly calling on the junta to hold the long-delayed election.

“This is not our last day. We will keep fighting together. We hope that today will mark the start of our fight,” activists Rangsiman Rome and Sirawit Serithiwat shouted before getting into the police van.
Before turning themselves in, Rangsiman, Sirawit and Anon Nampa spent two hours making speeches calling for elections this year, an end to “authoritarianism”, and a return to democracy.
They were taken to Samranrat Police Station before being brought to Pathumwan Police Station, which had first sought arrest warrants for them.
No charges are being pressed as of now against participants numbering over a hundred who took part in Saturday’s rally.
The rally was meant to kick-start a series of protests until their demands are met.
The activists spoke from a pickup truck where some participants, who claimed to be former protesters of the whistle-blowing former People’s Democratic Reform Committee also joined, carrying satirical caricatures of Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan.
“No matter what ‘colour’, we can unite to fight the junta,” said an activist, Nuttaa Mahattana.
“We act as the government’s opposition, as parliament is now fully under their control,” she said. “We are not afraid of the junta’s orders, which should be regarded as less than the constitution.”
Arrest warrants had earlier been issued for the three activists on charges of sedition, violating the junta’s order banning political gatherings and the public assembly bill.
Activist Ekachai Hongkangwan, also wanted for the same charges, was arrested earlier in the morning.
The charges were pressed against them as they were considered key figures of an earlier pro-election assembly held on January 27, when 39 activists, students and journalists were also arrested.

Published : February 10, 2018

By : The Nation