A protester tears an image of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during a demonstration in Bangkok on Aug. 31 against the proposed purchase of submarines by the military-aligned government. (Photo: AFP)
An outspoken student activist who is president of the Student Union of Thailand was arrested while she was on her way to a university in Bangkok on Sept. 1. Let’s call that what it was: a shameful act of official harassment of yet another pro-democracy activist.
Jutatip Sirikhan, 21, a plucky young woman who has come to fame lately for her rousing speeches demanding greater democratic rights for all Thais, was detained by a plainclothes policeman as she was sitting in a taxi traveling to university. Jutatip made a video of the incident and posted it on Facebook.
The student leader was taken to a police station and charged with sedition and other crimes over a student demonstration she helped organize in Bangkok on July 18 at the city’s Democracy Monument.
The demonstration unsettled the government as several student leaders, including Jutatip, defied an age-old taboo by openly calling for a reform of Thailand’s monarchy.