Authorities Silent on Abducted Anti-Coup Protester

A 71-year-old woman was mobbed and escorted away by police for wearing a mask with an anti-coup message, 1 June 2014.

BANGKOK — Few details have emerged about the anti-coup protester who was abducted in plain view yesterday.

The woman was forcefully shoved into a taxi by a group of suspected plain-clothed policemen in front of Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit on Sukhumvit Road at around 2:10 pm on Sunday. 

The men who abducted her were heard saying they were taking the woman to "a police station." It is not clear whether the taxi driver was member of the security forces, although a black-clad man was seen sitting in the back of the car. 

Authorities have yet to publicly disclose any information about the incident or where the woman was taken.

A wallet left behind by the woman contained two ID cards. One belongs to Pailin Puangsiri, a resident of Suan Luang district in Bangkok, while the other belongs to Sunantha Puangsiri, a resident of Tha Maka, Kanchanaburi province.

The woman appeared to be a lone protester nearby the larger anti-coup demonstration at Terminal 21 shopping mall. Shortly before her abduction, she was seen flashing the "three-finger salute” that has become a symbol of opposition to the military junta to security forces who were containing the anti-coup protest nearby.

No relative or friend of the woman could be found at the protest site. 

The incident was captured on camera by the Bangkok Post and has raised concerns that authorities are taking an increasingly heavy-handed approach to cracking down on protesters. 

Another lone protester, a woman in her 70s, was also mobbed and escorted away by police at Ratchaprasong Intersection in central Bangkok yesterday for wearing a mask with an anti-coup message.

 

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