Protesting students released

Protesting students released

A student, who refused to obey police, is taken to the Pathumwan police station from the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre on May 22, 2015. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
A student, who refused to obey police, is taken to the Pathumwan police station from the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre on May 22, 2015. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

All 38 students arrested after staging a symbolic anti-coup protest in front of the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre in Bangkok on Friday have been released.

They gathered in the heart of Bangkok to mark the first anniversary of the coup on Friday.

Matichon Online reported on Saturday after being detained by police, the students were taken to Pathumwan police station and were interrogated in three rooms.

In two of the rooms, police offered to release them without charge provided they sign on their ID copies agreeing not to stage or join further protests.

In the third room, police told them they would be unconditionally released.

Eventually, police took copies of their IDs, had them sign on them agreeing to not make further political move and released them without charge.

At 6.10am, shortly after being released, the students gathered in front of the Pathumwan police station and sing Saeng Dao Hang Sattha before leaving. The song, composed by the late Chit Phumisak 55 years ago while being jailed, is symbolic music for democracy fighters.

Shortly after midnight, Anon Nampa, a human-rights lawyer, posted on his Facebook police said they would prosecute 8-9 of the protesting students in the military court if all of them agreed to cooperate.

However, the students stood their ground, saying they all must be either released or detained.

One of the female students, Chinthicha Chaengrel fainted in police custody. She was later picked up by an Erawan Medical Centre van to a hospital.

In Khon Kaen, seven student activists detained for displaying an anti-coup banner were released on bail on Saturday morning.

Police allowed the Khon Kaen University students to be released on bail after they placed 7,500 baht as surety each. They were freed under a condition that they would not violate the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s announcement banning political gatherings, Thai media reported.

The students from the so-called Dao Din group were released at 9.30am on Saturday and were ordered to report to police again on June 8.

After being released, the students, all males, read out their statement written while being detention and sang a song in front of the police station. People from several areas in Khon Kaen and nearby northeastern provinces arrived to give them moral support.

The students were arrested on Friday afternoon after rallying at the Khon Kaen Democracy Monument on the first anniversary of the coup. During the gathering, they carried a large anti-coup banner to oppose the military coup-makers.

During their detention on Friday, a group of fellow university students showed up to give their moral support.

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