Thai police to summon for 15 more protest leaders for questioning

Thai police are to issue summonses for at least 15 more key protesters, from the Free People movement, for questioning in connection with the protest held at the Democracy Monument on July 18th.

Police superintendents and enquiry officers from 10 police stations have been summoned for a meeting with Pol Lt-Gen Pakkapong Pongpetra, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, for discussions about the protest and to examine evidence, which may lead to significant legal action being taken against key protesters.

Earlier, 15 Free People movement protest leaders had arrest warrants issued by the Criminal Court.  Three, namely Prit Chivarak, Anon Nampa and Panupong Jaadnok, have since been arrested and freed on bail.

Symbolic protests, held on campus, are not regarded as illegal under the public assembly law, but police have the authority to monitor such activities to prevent trouble, said Pol Maj-Gen Somprasong Yentuam, the Deputy Metropolitan Police Commissioner today.

He also said that the raising of three fingers as a political symbol by students during the singing of national anthem, a new phenomenon reported in many schools, is an exercise of free expression.

Whether the act constitutes a violation of the law, however, depends on whether such an act impinges on the rights of the other people, he added.

Meanwhile, Kasetsart, Silpakorn and Srinakharinwirot universities announced today that students could use the campus grounds to hold political activities, including rallies, on the condition that permission is granted by the university administration and that the activities, especially speeches to be given on stage, remain within the scope of the law.

Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations, Mr. Anek Laothammatas, has voiced his support for the idea, of Education Minister Nuttapol Teepsuwan, to hold public forums to enable students to express their political views.



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