BANGKOK — A group of activists said they were detained by the police on Friday afternoon for trying to put up banners denouncing the military coup that took place on this day 6 years ago.
Parit Chiwarak said about 10 police officers and what looked to be several plainclothed security officers approached his group at Democracy Monument before informing them that they are violating the Emergency Decree, which bans actions that “disrupts law and order.”
The group, consisting of five to six student activists, was then given a traffic violation ticket. They were detained four nearly two hours at the monument before taken to a police station, where their pickup truck driver was fined for not having a driver’s license.
“I didn’t expect to be met with this,” Parit said. “They threatened us, and told us to end the activity saying we violated the emergency decree, but said nothing about COVID-19 … This makes me wonder what the extension of the emergency decree was for.”
The 7-meter protest banner in Thai language briefly unfurled before police intervened reads: “2020: the Era Ruled by Dictators.” Another banner on their pickup truck reads, “It’s Been 6 Years, Motherfucker.”
A separate event was also being held in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center to mark six years since the coup that brought PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to power.