BANGKOK — Junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha said he would not be able to guarantee the safety of university lecturers who continue to criticize his military regime.
His comment came as six academics reported to police to hear charges of violating the junta’s ban on political activities for organizing a news conference last month at which they asked Gen. Prayuth’s government to respect freedom of speech.
“If they want to engage in activism or whatever, it’s up to them. If they aren’t afraid of the laws, it’s up to them. I don’t know about them. If the people want to join them, and then get in trouble for it, it’s up to them.” Gen. Prayuth said at Government House on Tuesday. “And if someone finds a gun and shoot them, or throws grenades at them, well, they have to live with that. If they aren’t afraid, it’s up to them.”
He quickly added that he was not personally threatening them.
“But it wouldn’t be me, because I would never do such a thing,” Prayuth said. “I’m not being angry when I’m saying these thing. It’s just I’m talking a bit loudly.”