Protest leaders report to police, hear lese majeste charges

Protest leaders report to police, hear lese majeste charges

People's Movement leaders report to Chana Songkram police station on Monday. From left:   Panupong Chadnok, Parit Chiwarak, Panusya Sithijirawattanakul and 
Arnon Nampha. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
People's Movement leaders report to Chana Songkram police station on Monday. From left: Panupong Chadnok, Parit Chiwarak, Panusya Sithijirawattanakul and Arnon Nampha. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

Five leaders of the People's Movement reported to Chana Songkhram police on Monday to hear charges of lese majeste brought under Section 112 of the Criminal Code over the demonstration at Sanam Luang on Sept 19-20.

They are Arnon Nampha, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, Panusya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, Panupong "Mike" Chadnok, and Patiwat Saraiyaem alias "Molam Bank".

They were responding to police summonses, and were accompanied by two counsel from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Krisdang Nutcharat and Noraseth Nanongtoom .

Mr Arnon said he was not worried about the charge and was ready to fight it in the judicial process. He strongly believed that with evidence at hand he would be cleared of the charge.

"It is now time for us to speak straightforwardly about the royal institution. Even if what we say goes unheard and laws are used to shut our mouths, we will continue to fight," he said.

Mr Arnon said he believed the protests would intensify next year.

Mr Parit said the lese majeste case would draw more people to join the protest, because it would make them feel there was injustice in the country.

Ms Panusya said the People's Movement's proposal for reform of the royal institution was truly aimed at attaining reform, not its abolition. Although Section 112 had been revived to deal with the protests, it would not deter the movement, she said.

Pol Col Atthawit Saisueb, deputy commander of the Metropolitan Police Sub-division 1, said since the five suspects had responded to the summonses they would be released unconditionally after they had given their statements.

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