Police Target 70 Protesters For Violating Emergency Decree

Piya Tawichai Bangkok
MPB deputy commissioner Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai

Police say they will take legal action against 70 people who they have identified as taking part in anti-government protests held in Bangkok last week.

Pol Col Kissana Phathanacharoen, a deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, warned that more people could be identified as participating in the various 2nd-4th July rallies.

The 70 people identified is just an initial step, Pol Col Phathanacharoen said at the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB).

“When the identities of law violators have been proven with enough evidence, then legal action will proceed,” he said.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy chief of the MPB, said the rallies and associated acts were in violation of the emergency decree, the Disease Control Act, the Maintaining Cleanliness Act and the Land Traffic Act.

A group of people was also seen secretly distributing alcoholic drinks without permission at a rally on 2nd July, breaching the Alcohol Beverage Control Act, Pol Maj Gen Tawichai said.

These acts were allegedly committed in various areas under the jurisdictions of Nang Loeng, Pathumwan, Samranrat and Phaya Thai Police stations.

Pol Maj Gen Tawichai said the first rally on 2nd July was organised by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration and the pro-democracy Ratsadon group allegedly led by Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak.

The rally-goers met at Uruphong Intersection and marched to Phanitchayakan Intersection near Chamai Maru Chet Bridge, he said.

At another rally on 3rd July, three groups of anti-government protesters took to Bangkok’s streets.

The three groups were the Prachachon Khon Thai (Thai people) group, led by Nititorn Lamlua, a former co-leader of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee, or yellow shirts; the Thai Mai Thon (Impatient Thais) group led by former red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan while the third group was led by former firebrand red-shirt activist Sombat Boonngam-anong.

The first two groups gathered at Nang Loeng Intersection to Chamai Maru Chet Bridge, while Mr Boonngam-anong led a “car mob” protest, where some 200 vehicles joined in.

Pol Maj Gen Tawichai said police are reviewing CCTV footage of the route taken by the car mob protest to determine whether it caused any traffic disturbances.

A rally on 4th July was carried out by three minor groups, he said.