BANGKOK — Key pro-democracy activists who had been arrested for their protests earlier this week wrote open letters on Friday to the public from their captivity.
Arnon Nampha, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, and Prasiddhi Grudharochana wrote in either social media posts or letters delivered by their lawyers on Thursday, hours after they were arrested for violating the state of emergency.
Arnon is detained at Wing 41 Royal Air Force. The activist said he can use his phone but cannot see an attorney.
He posted Thursday: “I will sleep in Chiang Mai jail, but I won’t be offered bail (you guys know why). I’m not angry at the process of justice that has happened to me, but I will record it in an account book made of dog leather.”
In Buddhist beliefs about the underworld, a ruling court writes down bad deeds in a book bound with dogskin.
Parit, Panusaya, and activist Prasiddhi Grudharochanawho are held at Thanyaburi District Prison. They wrote letters to the outside world via their lawyers, who shared them on social media.
Parit called for protesters to keep protesting every day, in Bangkok as well as upcountry.
“Everyone is a leader,” he wrote. “This is the turning point. If we hold fast to our ideals, even hundreds and thousands of dictators will fall with the power of the citizens.”
Prasiddhi, who had been arrested at the same time as the others, wrote: “if you’re reading this letter, this means I might not come out again. But no matter. We’re fine, don’t worry. This place can hold prison only our bodies, but cannot jail our ideals of democracy that fly through the roof here.”
Prasiddhi urged supporters to come to the protests and to close their accounts with the Siam Commercial Bank.
Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul was arrested at a hotel room on Thursday morning after police dispersed the crowd in front of Government House.
“If I never return to you guys, please don’t be discouraged. I’m ready to sacrifice for our fight,” Panusaya wrote in her letter. “People might see that leaders are disappearing one by one, but actually, we are always with you in the form of ideals.”
“I leave my hope and fight with you. May everyone use all of your bravery to lead our friends. We’ve come so far; the finish line is not far off,” Panusaya went on. “Fight for our human dignity. No one is born with blue blood. No one is born higher than others. We are all equal humans.”
A video of police arresting Panusaya at the hotel shows Rung telling the policeman his job was to “protect the people.”
He replied, “I’m still a government employee. …My heart is with you, but I have to retire first.”