BANGKOK — The father of a 17-year-old boy who was murdered during the 2010 military crackdown on anti-government protesters has been charged with littering after he distributed leaflets demanding justice for his son on Sunday.
Pansak Srithep, whose son Samapan Srithep was killed in the clashes between soldiers and Redshirt demonstrators in May 2010, distributed leaflets around Mo Chit BTS station yesterday morning.
The leaflets called for the establishment of a "People's Court" to try those responsible for the military crackdown that left over 90 people dead, mostly civilians.
Police detained Mr. Pansak soon after he began casting bundles of flyers around the station. He was later charged with violating the Public Health Act, which carries a fine of 5,000 baht, said Mr. Pansak's lawyer, Winyat Chartmontri.
Payao Akhart and her son Nattapat Akhart were also arrested while they were waiting to stage a protest near the BTS Station. Ms. Payao’s daughter, Kamonkate "Nurse Kate" Akhart, was killed in the May 2010 unrest while she was working as a volunteer medic.
Ms. Payao and Mr. Nattapat have not been charged with any crimes, said Mr. Winyat, who also represented the pair.
"Soldiers only talked with them to adjust their understanding. They did not take any legal action," Mr. Winyat explained.
There was fear that the trio would be charged with violating the military junta's ban on public protests and libel for naming several former politicians and high-ranking military officers as "defendants" in the "People's Court.”
"As of the moment, the individuals [named in the documents] have not pressed any charges," Mr. Winyat said. "The three persons did not intend to stage a political protest. They were merely expressing their feeling that they have not received justice."
Mr. Pansak, Ms. Payao, and Mr. Nattapat were released from police custody six hours after they were arrested.
Ms. Payao told reporters upon her release that she did not stage the activities to criticise the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
"I only came out to demand justice from the justice system," Ms. Payao said.
The protest followed the Criminal Court's decision to reject criminal proceedings against then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban for their authorisation of the 2010 military crackdown.
The court argued that Mr. Abhisit and Mr. Suthep must be tried by the Supreme Court's Division of Political Office Holders because the two men were in political office when the alleged crimes were committed. The case has now been transferred to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).