Protest student leader “Penquin” held in police custody

Thai activist Parit Chirawak sits inside Samanrat police station in Bangkok on August 14, 2020. – Thai police on August 14 arrested prominent democracy activist, Parit Chiwarak also known as “Penguin” after his participation in protests calling for government reforms, a new constitution and an overhaul of a law shielding the powerful monarchy. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Student protest leader Prit “Penquin” [sic] Chivarak was today held in police custody, charged with inciting public unrest.

Armed with an arrest warrant, issued by the Criminal Court, police took the Thammasat University student to Samranrat police station.

Police sources said that the student leader violated Section 116 of the Criminal Code by allegedly inciting public unrest during a protest held in Nonthaburi province.

Meanwhile, Samranrat police have asked the Criminal Court to revoke the bail granted to human rights lawyer Anon Nampa and another protest leader, Panupong Jaadnok, alias Mike Rayong, for allegedly breaking bail conditions by participating in recent protests.

The court has set September 3rd for consideration of the police request.

Both Anon and Panupong were released on bail of 100,000 baht each. Both had taken part in the controversial protest at Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus on Monday, during which some speakers made references related to the Thai Monarchy.

Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations Anek Lathammatat said today that the Government has instructed all university rectors and council presidents to make sure that free expression on political issues on campus does not address the issue of the Thai Monarchy.

He said that the Government does not want to see confrontation or conflict between students, who share different views on the Monarchy, or between students and the public.

He added that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha views students like his children and as the future of Thailand.

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