Activists Prevented from Leaving House to Plant Protest Plaque

Pro-democracy student leaders install a plaque declaring "This country belongs to the people" at the Sanam Luang field during a protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP

BANGKOK —  Anti-government activist Ekachai Hongkangwan said Monday he was besieged in his own home by a group of unidentified men who tried to stop him from placing a copy of the ‘democracy plaque.’

Ekachai said he saw the men, nine of them in total, after he opened the door of his shop house residence on Ladprao Road at about 6:45am. As far as he could tell, the men were unarmed. 

“The oldest man shouted at me saying: ‘Goddamn you. Have you even done anything good for your country?’” Ekachai said on the phone. 

Ekachai said he later called police, who sent five plain-cloth officers to the scene and took the men away. The nine men were questioned at the police station and reportedly fined 300 baht each for causing nuisance. 

“They come as a team. Someone must have arranged it,” Ekachai said. 

Superintendent of the Ladprao Police station was not available for comment about the case as of publication time, and other officers said they were not authorized to talk about it.   

Ekachai said he had planned to put up a paper replica of the People’s Party Plaque 2.0 at the Royal Plaza as a tribute to the plaque, which was installed by pro-democracy protest leaders at Sanam Luang on Sept. 20, before it was removed by the authorities less than a day later. 

The appearance of the nine men today checked him, but Ekachai said he’d go ahead with the plan at a later date.

“I will do it when I am in the mood to do so,” the activist said.