Police Summon Activists Over Laser Graffiti on DefMin

“#SeekTheTruth” laser projected onto the Ministry of Defense in Bangkok on May 10, 2020.
“#SeekTheTruth” laser projected onto the Ministry of Defense in Bangkok on May 10, 2020.

BANGKOK — Police summoned the crew behind a recent light spectacle marking the army’s 2010 crackdown on anti-government protests, organizers said Thursday.

Pannika Wanich, the leader of The Progressive Movement, said the contractors involved in the stunt were instructed to report to a police station for questioning. She added that security authorities visited their homes, and suspected that police are weighing legal action against them.

“This infringes the freedom of speech of people,” Pannika said. “They are intimidating the artists. Although it’s only an witness summon, authorities tend to use this tactic to press charges against them because they can’t bring lawyers with them.”

In May, the group projected the slogan #SeekTheTruth onto various landmarks across Bangkok, including the Ministry of Defense headquarters. The campaign sought to renew discussions on the deadly clashes between Redshirt protesters and the military that left about 90 people dead in 2010.

Deputy superintendent of Phrarachawang Police Station, who issued the summons, said no charges were filed against them at the moment.

“They are eyewitnesses,” Lt. Col. Thanyawat Kasemsri said in an interview Friday. “We just want to ask them what happened and their involvement with the event.”

Pannika said the summons letter identifies the defense ministry as the accuser in the case, but defense spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit said Friday he was not informed about the matter.

He refused to answer when asked whether it was indeed the ministry who filed a criminal complaint against the activists.

“I need to see the document first,” Lt. Gen. Kongcheep said.

The Progressive Movement, a reincarnation of the disbanded Future Forward Party, has claimed responsibility for the stunt.