9 arrested after police station protest
Nine people were arrested after a violent protest outside a Bangkok police station between police and a group that had gathered in support of a 15-year old girl who has been held for more than 40 days on a royal defamation charge.
The seven men and two women arrested included Tantawan “Tawan” Tuatulanon and Orawan “Bam” Phuphong, who earlier this year staged a 52-day hunger strike to press for the release of political prisoners and the abolition of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese-majeste law.
The protesters began gathering at the Samran Rat police station in Phra Nakhon district at about 4pm. They wanted to talk to those in charge after learning that officers from the station were preparing to press an additional charge against the detained teenager known as Thanalop or “Yok”.
After the demonstrators waited for two hours, they splashed and sprayed red paint on the walls and steps of the station, police vehicles and a poster of the national police chief. A demonstrator also broke a glass door at the station.
About 50 crowd control policemen were deployed to control the situation. Officers with riot shields assembled and a melee began. Nine people were taken away and were being held at three different police stations.
Thanalop was arrested on March 28, the same day that a 24-year-old man was caught spray-painting a “No 112” message on the wall of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.
Police said at the time that they had a warrant to arrest Thanalop, who was accused of insulting the monarchy during a rally in October 2022 in front of Bangkok City Hall. She was 14 at the time.
People convicted of lese-majeste can be sentenced to between 3 and 15 years in jail.
According to data, 1,902 people have been prosecuted for political participation and expression since the beginning of the Free Youth pro-democracy protests in July 2020. At least 242 are facing lese-majeste charges and 130 have been charged with sedition.
Learn from listening
- abolish: to officially get rid of a law, system, practice, etc. - ยกเลิก
- charge : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา
- convicted: proven in a court of law to have committed a crime - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
- defamation: the offence of writing or saying something bad about someone that is not true and makes people have a bad opinion of them - การใส่ร้าย
- detained: kept in a place and not allowed to leave - กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
- hunger strike: a refusal to eat by a person or group of people until a demand is met - การอดอาหารประท้วง
- insult: to say or do something to someone that is rude or offensive - พูดแดกดัน, พูดจาบจ้วง
- lese-majeste (adj): the crime of offending, threatening or showing disrespect for a member of the royal family - หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ
- melee: a large noisy uncontrolled crowd, in which people are moving in different directions and sometimes fighting with each other - การต่อสู้การชุลมุน
- monarchy (noun): the king or queen of a country and their family - ราชวงศ์, พระบรมวงศานุวงศ์
- prosecute: to officially accuse someone of a crime and to try to prove them guilty in a court of law - ดำเนินคดี ฟ้องร้อง ซักฟอก
- protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง
- protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
- sedition: fighting against the government; rebellion, revolt, revolution, agitation - การปลุกระดมฝูงชนให้ต่อต้านรัฐบาล, การช่วยก่อความไม่สงบ, คำพูดปลุกระดม, การสนับสนุนพวกกบฏ
- spray (verb): to cover somebody/something with very small drops of a liquid that are forced out of a container or sent through the air - ฉีด, พ่น