Military prosecutor to issue a prosecution order of anti-coup activist Sirawit “Ja New” on 9 March

On 15 February 2016 at 9.30, Mr. Sirawit Seritiwat (aka “Ja New”), an anti-coup activist, reported to an inquiry official at the Thonburi Railway Police Station in Bangkok, together with his lawyer and bail guarantor. The official made a daily report that Sirawit had reported himself in to be handed over to the Bangkok Military Court.

At 10.00, the inquiry official handed over Sirawit to the Bangkok Military Court to await the order from the military prosecutor. As a process of examining the case file would take some time and it was not possible to immediately issue an order of prosecution, the prosecutor will summon Sirawit to hear the order on 9 March 2016. Sirawit was released soon after.

Sirawit said that he was not worried as this happened many times and he is getting used to it.

Sirawit was arrested on 13 February 2016 during the 71st Thammasat-Chula traditional football match at the National Stadium in Bangkok. He was taken to the Thonburi Railway Police Station and initially was to be held in custody there until the Bangkok Military Court would be open on Monday. However, the inquiry official granted him a temporary release with 10,000 Baht cash as a bail bond.

Sirawit recounted that at first, a plainclothed military official tried to apprehend him, but he saw that it was not a military duty to arrest a civilian, so he refused to go. Police officials, uniformed and plainclothes, came to arrest him later. Even though they showed him the arrest warrant, they did not read him the rights. When he saw that the arrest record claimed that the officials had read him the rights, he refused to sign the record.

The arrest warrant on Sirawit was issued due to him failing to report to the inquiry official as summoned. This was related to his activity in December 2015 in which he and other activists arranged a train trip to the army-run Rajabhakti Park, in campaign for investigation into an allegation of corruption in the park’s construction (See more information here.) Other 4 activists who are facing the same arrest warrants and yet to be arrested are Ms. Chonthicha Jaeung-Rew, Ms. Chanoknan Ruamsap, Mr. Abhisit Sapnaphapan, and Mr. Korakot Saengyenpan.

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