Seven Khon Kaen University students who held a sign reading, “Anti Coup,” at Khon Kaen’s Democracy Monument this afternoon have been detained at the Khon Kaen Police Station. The students from the activist group Dao Din said on the group’s Facebook that it is likely they will be charged with violating Article 44 of the 2014 Interim constitution and tried in military court.
Those presently detained are Mr. Jatupat Boonpattararaksa (Pai), Mr. Apiwat Suntrarak (Noi), Mr. Payu Boonsopon (Payu), Mr. Panupong Srithananuwat (Nite), Mr. Suwitcha Thipangkorn (Best), Mr. Supachai Phukrongploy (Arty) and Mr. Wasant Setsith (Tong).
Three other students and three observers from the the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights organization were also detained. According to Dao Din’s Facebook page, the six observers will not be charged, but the action will be recorded in their records.
The stated objective of the action was posted on the group’s facebook page shortly after they were detained. “We aim to express our stance on the military government’s suppression of human rights in Isaan, especially with regard to, the gold mine issue [in Loei province], the Khong Chi Mun river management problems, the problems with petroleum drilling, evictions from the forest under the Master Plan, educational injustice and inequality, and the 2015 charter.”
The protest comes the day after the “New Isaan” movement’s symbolic action in Khon Kaen against mining and petroleum concessions being granted in the Northeast.
All ten of the students present at the protest are members of Dao Din. Most of them study at Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Law.