Police summon activist for false abduction report
published : 20 Jan 2021 at 20:21
Police summoned a political activist for falsifying a statement on Wednesday, after his claim that he was abducted stirred anger on social media and allegations of state harassment of government critics.
Mongkol Santimetakul, 25, a volunteer guard for the youth-led protest movement behind months of anti-government rallies, had told police he was snatched off the street and questioned in a van for 12 hours while wearing a hood.
But police said their initial investigation showed Mr Mongkol was at an apartment at the time he said he was taken.
"He claimed that he was abducted in a van but we have evidence, both camera footage and witnesses, that he was not," regional police commissioner Pol Lt Gen Ampon Buarubpon told Reuters, adding an arrest warrant would be issued if Mr Mongkol failed to respond.
Mr Mongkol declined the opportunity to comment when contacted by Reuters.
Activists have accused the military-backed government of using illegal tactics to intimidate critics, on top of legal cases filed against them for offences like sedition and insulting the monarchy, which carry long jail terms.
Pol Lt Gen Ampon said allegations of abductions were designed to create mistrust of state officials.
"This is outdated, why would the police abduct people?" he said.