KHON KAEN: Pro-democracy activist Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattarasaksa burned a summons for him to report to Khon Kaen police on Aug 28 during an anti-government rally in Muang districton Monday night, saying it was intimidation.
Mr Jatupat, 29, was taking part in a rally of about 500 people of the Northeastern People’s Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) at an open ground in front of the Democracy Monument near the city pillar on Srichan road in Muang district.
The rally began about 6pm when NPAD core members went up on a stage to read a statement with three demands – that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign as prime minister and dissolve parliament to make way for a general election; an end to intimidation of the people; and that the constitution be rewritten.
In heavy rain, the demonstrators raised their hands in a three-finger gesture against dictatorship.
At one point, Mr Jatupat showed the gathering a summons issued by Muang Khon Kaen police station on Monday requiring him to report to police investigators on Aug 28 to hear charges in connection with his participation in a recent anti-government rally. The charges included sedition and illegal assembly.
The activist said he had also received a summons from Samranrat police in Bangkok for him to hear the same charges on Aug 28.
Mr Jatupat said he viewed the summonses as a form of oppression and intimidation. He then set fire to the summons from the Khon Kaen police, as the crowd watched.
“I want to declare here that we are not afraid (of intimidation). The more we are mistreated, the harder we will fight. We won’t put up with it anymore. On Aug 27, we will be in Bangkok for a rally at the October 14 memorial. On Aug 28, we will move to Samranrat police station to press the three demands and demonstrate our force in calling for the return of democracy to the people,” he said.
The activist, a former law student of Khon Kaen University, said since he had received two summonses to report to police at two locations on the same day, he would first go to Samranrat police station, and would seek a postponement of his reporting to Khon Kaen police.
Mr Jatupat was imprisoned for two years and six months for lese majeste and violation of the Computer Crime Act by sharing a BBC Thai Facebook biography of the King in December 2016.
He was released on May 10, 2019, a month before he was due to be freed on June 19, thanks to His Majesty the King’s royal pardons.
While serving time in prison he was allowed to continue his law studies. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law before being released.