Mystery arrest explained (updated)

Mystery arrest explained (updated)

The woman forced into a taxi during a anti-coup rally was acting aggressively, police say, and they took her away to calm her down. Update: She and five others have now been released without charge.

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A woman is forced into a taxi by plainclothes police after she staged a one-person protest against the military junta on Sukhumvit Road on Sunday. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Wednesday morning update

The woman who was forced in a taxi on Sunday has been released without charge, as have five others detained the same day. Here are the details from reporter Wassayos Ngamkham:

Military authorities on Tuesday released five women and a man detained Sunday during anti-coup protests in Bangkok.

Three other protesters, all male, were held at the CSD to face charges.

Two of the women's arrests drew heavy and critical comments on social media Sunday and Monday.

One, Warin Thinakorn, 71, was jumped and held by four undercover police for flashing the three-finger anti-coup sign and wearing a home-made mask labelled "People", and then was taken away by motorcycle..

The other, identified as Sunantha Phuagsiri, 50, was forced, struggling, into a taxi to be taken off to police detention. She was seen flashing the anti-coup symbol before being pushed into the taxi and whisked away from in front of Times Square shopping centre on Sukhumvit Road.

Both were detained in front of dozens of local and foreign media, and numerous photos and videos of the arrests appeared on sites such as Facebook, often with derogatory comments towards police and the military coup.

All six of those released without charges on Tuesday were arrested Sunday for staging illegal anti-coup protests in the Ratchaprasong and Asoke areas, and outside Fortune Town shopping mall. They were held at Crime Suppression Division for two nights.

Military officers, who control all law enforcement under coup orders, submitted a letter to CSD investigators to confirm that no charges would be laid against the detainees, who should be released to return home.

Before their release, however, the officers "reproved" the group and "requested" each to sign a document promising not to participate in any future activities that might provoke unrest.

Mystery coup arrest explained

The Lumpini district police chief on Monday confirmed his undercover officers detained and forced a woman into a taxi after she staged a one-person protest against the military junta on Sukhumvit Road on Sunday.

Pol Col Chaiya Kongsub said the woman was taken away because she acted aggressively with the undercover police, who took her to the police station to “calm down”.

He identified the woman as Sunanta Puangsiri, 50. She was the first of six people arrested for violating martial law regulations during Sunday's anti-coup protest rallies held at various locations in Bangkok. All six were still held Monday at Crime Suppression Division.

Ms Sunanta was caught by photographers and video cameras as she was subdued by at least four plainclothes policemen, who said she resisted arrest. They tried to pull her into a taxi cab in front of Times Square Shopping Center at about 2pm Sunday.

The video drew wide criticism from social media users, who said the officers overreacted and never told her what offence she had committed. Some questioned the identity of the men in the video, but Pol Col Chaiya confirmed they were his undercover officers.

The Lumpini police chief said Ms Sunanta’s behavior appeared to be “more violent than other protesters” and the officers took her to the police station to calm her down and to prevent her from “violating NCPO orders too much”.

After that, she was taken from the police station by military officers for questioning, he added.

Military officers said they had yet to press charges against Ms Sunanta and five other protesters.

Anti-military demonstrators have opted for the three-finger salute as their symbol of resistance, but be careful where you use it. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Meanwhile the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has vowed to take harsh legal action against anti-coup protesters.

NCPO spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree said yesterday the military is responsible for restoring peace so the country can move forward.

Col Winthai said security authorities would have no choice but to enforce strict law against the protesters.

In her commentary this morning, Bangkok Post Contributing Editor Atiya Achakulwisut thinks such action is counterproductive.

"The army chief has already turned himself into a despot by seizing all legislative and executive power. He does not need to add ruthlessness to his qualifications.

"He does not need to fuel pockets of resistance and fan them into a popular uprising either.

"It’s clear that people who are against the coup are not orchestrating a physical fight. They are not conducting street occupations or long-stay rallies.

"What they have opted to show is a symbolic resistance. They are contesting military might with viral messages.

"The best course of action for Gen Prayuth for now, therefore, is to do nothing."

Adapted from stories from online and print reporters and columnist Atiya Achakulwisut


  • aggressively (adv): behaving in an angry and violent way towards another person - อย่างก้าวร้าว
  • arrest: (of the police) taking someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime - การจับกุม
  • authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • behavior (noun): the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว
  • calm down: to become or make somebody become quiet and more relaxed after strong emotion or excitement - ทำให้สงบ, ทำให้นิ่งเฉย
  • charge : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา
  • commentary: a newspaper article that discusses a subject and gives opinions about it - บทความแสดงข้อคิดเห็น, คำวิจารณ์
  • commit: to do something wrong or illegal - ทำความผิด
  • conduct: to do something in an organised way; to carry out — - ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
  • contest: to compete for something - โต้แย้ง ถกเถียง
  • counterproductive (adj): having the opposite effect to the one which was intended ไม่สร้างสรรค์ - ไม่สร้างสรรค์
  • coup: the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร
  • Crime Suppression Division (CSD): a national police department responsible for conducting most of the technical investigations of criminal offenses - กองบังคับการปราบปราม
  • criticism: comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad - การวิจารณ์
  • derogatory: showing strong disapproval and not showing respect - วิจารณ์ไปในทางที่ไม่ดี, ดูถูก, ตำหนิ
  • despot (noun): a ruler with great power, especially one who uses it in a cruel way - ผู้กดขี่, นักเผด็จการ
  • detain: to keep someone in a police station or prison and not allow them to leave - กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
  • document: a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, especially of an official type  - เอกสาร
  • enforce : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
  • executive branch: the part of the government that has the power and responsibility for the daily working of government agencies - ฝ่ายบริหารของรัฐบาล
  • flash (verb): to show something to somebody quickly - แสดงให้ดูอย่างรวดเร็ว
  • fuel: to cause something, usually bad, to happen; to increase something; to make something stronger - ก่อให้เกิด, ทำให้รุนแรงขึ้น
  • harsh (adjective): cruel, severe and unkind - กระด้าง, รุนแรง, ห้าว, เกรี้ยวกราด
  • identified (verb): named, searched for a discovered - ระบุ
  • illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
  • investigator: someone whose job is to officially find out the facts about something, especially a crime or accident - ตำรวจฝ่ายสอบสวนคดีอาชญากรรม
  • junta: a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected - รัฐบาลทหาร
  • legal: relating to the law - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
  • legislative: involving the part of government responsible for creating new laws - เกี่ยวข้องกับสภานิติบัญญัติ
  • location: where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
  • martial law: direct control of an area or country by the armed forces - กฎอัยการศึก
  • mask: something that you wear to cover part or all of your face in order to hide who you are, for protection or for decoration - หน้ากาก, เครื่องปิดหน้า
  • meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน
  • might: power - อำนาจ, ความแข็งแรง, พลัง
  • mystery: not explained or known; secret - ลึกลับ
  • numerous: many - มากมาย
  • occupation (noun): the act of going into a place and taking control away from the people or government there - การเข้ายึดครอง
  • offence: a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
  • opt: to make a choice or a decision from a range of possibilities - เลือก
  • orchestrate: to plan and organise a complicated event or activity - จัดการ, วางแผน
  • order: a situation in which everything is well organized or arranged - ความเป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย
  • overreact: to react in an extreme way, especially in a frightened or angry way - มีปฏิกิริยารุนแรงเกินไป
  • participate: to take part in something - เข้าร่วม
  • plainclothes officers: police officers who wear regular clothes instead of police uniforms -
  • pocket: a small area which has a particular quality that makes it different from the areas around it -
  • popular (adj): connected with the ordinary people of a country; shared by a large number of people - ของประชาชน
  • press charges: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
  • protest: a strong complaint or disagreement - การประท้วง
  • provoke: to cause a reaction - ก่อให้เกิด
  • qualification (noun): a skill or type of experience that you need for a particular job or activity; an exam that you have passed or a course of study that you have successfully completed - คุณวุฒิ, คุณสมบัติ
  • rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม
  • regulation: an official rule that controls the way that things are done - กฎระเบียบ
  • release: to allow someone to go free - ปล่อยตัว
  • reprove (verb): to tell somebody that you do not approve of something that they have done - กล่าวคำตำหนิ,ตำหนิ,ต่อว่า,ประณาม, แสดงความไม่เห็นด้วย
  • resist arrest: to refuse to be taken away by the police - ขัดขืนการจับกุม
  • resistance: a refusal to accept something or allow it to happen - การต่อต้าน, การขัดขืน
  • responsible for: to have a duty to do something - มีความรับผิดชอบ
  • restore: to bring somebody/something back to a former condition, place or position - กลับคืน, กลับมารับตำแหน่ง
  • ruthless: not thinking or worrying about any pain caused to others; cruel - ไร้ความปรานี, โหดเหี้ยม
  • salute: to put your hand to your head as a formal way of showing respect to someone, especially a senior officer in the armed forces - คำนับ,แสดงความเคารพ
  • security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
  • seize (verb): to take control of by force or official power - ยึกครอง
  • social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
  • stage: to organise an event or activity - จัด
  • strict: demanding that rules are obeyed; very careful and exact - เข้มงวด
  • struggle (verb): to fight somebody or try to get away from them - ต่อสู้
  • subdue (verb): to defeat a person or a group of people, and to take control of them - ปราบ
  • submitted: formally given to someone so they can make a decision about it - ยื่นเอกสารเพื่อการพิจารณา
  • symbol: someone or something that represents a particular idea or quality - สัญลักษณ์
  • undercover: working secretly using a false appearance in order to get information for the police or government - ลึกลับ,ลี้ลับ,ทำอย่างลับ
  • unrest: angry or violent behaviour by people who are protesting or fighting against something - สถานการณ์ที่ไม่สงบ
  • uprising: a political situation in which a large group of people opposes and tries to defeat the government or a ruler - การลุกฮือขึ้นก่อการปฏิวัติ
  • violate: to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
  • violent: involving or caused by physical force that is intended to hurt or kill somebody - รุนแรง, ร้ายแรง, สาหัส
  • viral: (of a video, photo, story, etc.) spread across the internet very quickly (like a virus spreading a disease) as people share it with their friends or the news media reports on it - แพร่กระจายผ่านทางอินเทอร์เน็ตอย่างรวดเร็ว
  • vow: to make a formal and serious promise to do something or to promise what you say is true - สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ
  • whisk away: to take somebody/something somewhere very quickly and suddenly -

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