2 Activists Charged for ‘Violence’ Against Queen Suthida

Ekachai Hongkangwan at a police station on Feb. 10, 2018.

BANGKOK — A court on Friday approved arrest warrants for two prominent pro-democracy activists on charges of using violence on Her Majesty the Queen. 

Ekachai Hongkangwan and Bunkueanun “Francis” Paothong were identified as the suspects in the most serious charge filed by the authorities so far since the waves of anti-government protests began in February. If guilty, they face life in prison. 

Both of them were charged under Article 110 of the Criminal Code, which bans any act of violence against the Queen or Her Majesty’s liberty.

Their whereabouts are unknown as of publication time. 

Ekachai and Bunkueanun were interviewed by Khaosod English during a protest in front of Government House on Wednesday afternoon, shortly before a royal motorcade and groups of police officers arrived at the scene without any warning. 

The royal convoy, which carried Queen Suthida and Prince Dipangkorn, then moved slowly through the crowd of protesters, who were held back by the police officers, though many demonstrators flashed the three-finger salute and shouted at the vehicles. 

Khaosod English reporters at the scene did not witness Ekachai or Bunkueanun throwing any objects at Her Majesty the Queen or trying to reach the motorcade. 

Ekachai is a persistent anti-military campaigner who often staged a one-man protest to denounce alleged corruption scandals within the government, while Bunkueanun was a key leader of the student movement at Mahidol University earlier this year.