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$15 for tip-offs on planned protests in Thailand

Publication Date : 24-06-2014

 

Thai police will reward 500 baht (US$15) to anybody who provides information or evidence of people planning to stage a flash protest against the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), deputy national police chief Lt-General Somyot Poompanmoung said yesterday.

General Udomdej Sitabutr, who is NCPO secretary-general and deputy Army chief, said the NCPO had instructed security officials to exercise proper judgement on whether to arrest those who stage quiet protests by publicly reading books or eating sandwiches.

He said these protesters can either be arrested immediately on the assumption that the situation may get worse, or they could photograph them and round them up later to avoid public commotion.

Somyot said the evidence provided could be either a video clip or photographs, adding that the reward would be given if these tips result in prosecution.

Though police have cut down on security as there have been no major protests against the military, plainclothes officers were still being dispatched to areas where protests may be staged, he said.

Somyot added that police would still detain groups of five or more if they gather with a political motive.

Meanwhile, the military court has issued arrest warrants for 28 people for failing to report to the NCPO as ordered.

The 28 include lese majeste suspects such as former PM's office minister Jakrapob Penkair and Giles Ungpakorn, a former academic at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Political Science, - both of whom live in self-impose exile overseas - and former vocational student activist Ekkapob Luara aka "Tang Acheeva". They are also targeting red-shirt Chatwadee "Rose" Amornpat who lives in the UK.

The penalty for defying the NCPO's summonses is up to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,200).

However, the court yesterday revoked the arrest warrant against Khanchai Boonparn, chief executive of the Matichon Group. Pol Colonel Prasopchoke Prommoon, deputy chief of the Crime Suppression Division, said Matichon Plc's managing director submitted a medical certificate to show that Khanchai was undergoing a heart operation in Bangkok. Prasopchoke said police had been told about his circumstances and the Matichon boss showed no intent to escape.

 

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