date: 8/8/2023 author: Faozee Lateh

An Overview Of Public Assemblies And Harassment Following The Gatherings March 2023


Monthly Report on Public Assembly, Prosecution, and Harassment regard to Freedom of Expression and Assembly in March 2023

Monthly Report on public assembly and harassment related to public assembly and expression March 2023

Overview Situation of Public Assembly

March saw at least 42 public assemblies nationwide, 36 times down from February. Most of the public assemblies coalesced around the demand to have political prisoners released, at least 32 times including at least 27 Stand Stop Imprisonment activities in front of the Supreme Court in Bangkok and at least four Stand Stop Tyranny activities at Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai. Another activity was a march organized by Amnesty International Thailand to submit a list of signatures of people demanding the dropping of charges and release of political activists to the Prime Minister which encountered at least 20 unfirm police officials standing in rows to prevent the marchers from getting close to the Government House.

Issues concerning livelihood have triggered at least three public assemblies including during the visit of the PM to Ban Pong District, Ratchaburi, Ms. Wanthana, 61, and her friends have flashed their three fingers when the PM’s motorcade passed by. They wanted to complain about economic issues. Wanthana was seen being dragged away by force by the officials who used an umbrella to prevent people from taking photo of the scene. They tried to muffle her using their hands and inflicted injuries on her body. She was later held in custody at Ban Pong Police Station and was charged for disobeying the orders of an official, causing loud noise in public place and resisting or obstructing an official. She was allowed to post bail at 10,000 baht. The Peasant Federation protesters were marching from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives toward the Government House to submit to the PM a letter of petition demanding help for peasants who have been experiencing problems concerning the Farmers Reconstruction and Development Fund. Later, the cabinet has decided to restructure debts of 50,000 farmers and pledged to expand it to cover all farmers throughout the country. Employees of the Bangkok Mass Transit System PLC or BTSC have gathered to submit to the PM at the Government House a letter of petition demanding that the government service its existing debts to the company at 50 billion baht.


@Kan Sangtong

Given 8 March marked an International Women's Day, at least two public assemblies were held including by the Civil Society Network for Gender Equality in Chiang Mai which organized the activity “stand up for your freedom and justice” including a march from the Buddha Sathan to Tha Phae Gate and a roundtable discussion to promote women’s rights and freedoms. The Labour Network for People’s Rights has organized a labour activity to mark the 2023 International Women's Day including making public speeches and reading public statements to send a message on labour and welfare to political parties prior to the forthcoming elections and a 112-second- Stand Stop Imprisonment activity. Their activities were held in the presence of at least 20 police officials including those from the Metropolitan Police in khaki uniform and women police.

This month also saw at least two public assemblies concerning the election. The United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration organized the House Dissolution, Cleansing Misfortune, Ousting Dictators by gathering to clean the area in front of the Parliament from being tainted by the dictators before the election. While, the protesters were announcing the reasons to hold the activity, six uniform police officials forced themselves in around the sign of the Parliament to stop the protesters from using their utensils to clean the area prompting them to shout to chase the police away. Activists from the Ratsadon Group and its alliances have organized a symbolic activity and read a public statement concerning the House Dissolution and the election as well as to launch the Vote for Change campaign for the 2023 election at the Democracy Monument to show their political stand and demands. In addition, at least one public assembly was held to demand legal reform including the Minivan Protest organized by the Association of Minivan Bus in Bangkok and the province. They were gathered to submit a letter of petition at the Ministry of Land Transportation and the Government House to demand change of the regulations which have caused protracted problems with minivan transportation including restriction of vehicle age limit. And at least one public assembly was held on environmental issues including the one led by villagers in Sob Moei District, Mae Hong Son who were gathered to perform the Longevity Ceremony for Salween River to mark the International Day of Action for Rivers and to hold a roundtable discussion to show their stand against state policies to build dams.

Update on legal cases as of March 2023

March saw an increase of individuals being charged for an offence against Section 112. As to the cases related to an offence against the Emergency Decree, despite its being lifted since October 2022, at least one new case has been indicted. The cases against such offence have been moving forward in the judicial procedure and verdicts have been delivered in several of them.  

Since the Free Youth led public assemblies on 18 July 2020 until 31 March 2023, at least 1,898 individuals have been charged for participating in public assemblies or expressing their political opinions in 1,187 cases including 211 cases against 284 youth under 18 years of age. Prosecutions against children include 41 cases against children under 15 and 243 cases against children from 15-18 years.

Compared with the end of February 2023, three more individuals have been charged in seven new cases (counting only those who have never been charged before.) Altogether, there have been at least 3,794 legal actions against the individuals although some of them are charged for multiple offences. Of this, 326 cases have reached the final verdicts leaving more than 861 active cases pending in various stages of the procedure .

Detail of key offences can be described as follows;

1. “Lese majeste” offence pursuant to the Penal Code’s Section112, at least 237 suspects in 256 cases  

At least four more individuals were legally charged in three cases related to Section 112. Chokedee Rompruk was charged for the second time for singing and playing guitar in “Lucky to be Thai People” and “Who killed King Rama VIII” songs by Fai Yen during the gathering to oust Prayut at the Victory Monument on 23 August 2022. The arrest warrants were executed against Chane Cheewobancha, freelance reporter and Manee Ngernta for participating in an activity in front of the South Bangkok Criminal Court to demand the right to bail for Bung-Bai Por and for signing “Lucky to be Thai People” on 28 July 2022. Both were remanded in custody on 9 March 2023, and were later released on bail on 15 March 2023. 


In addition, the 15-year-old-Yok was arrested on Section 112 becoming the youngest ever suspect in such case. She was arrested while livestreaming when Bang-earn (pseudonym), a freelance artist, was accused of spray-painting the word ‘112’ with a strikethrough and the symbol of anarchist on the walls of the Grand Palace. She was then taken to the Phra Racha Wang Police Station,14 and was accused by the police as a conspirator. Then, the police produced an arrest warrant issued by the Central Juvenile and Family Court to arrest her even though Yok had informed the authority that she wanted to reschedule her turning herself in to a later day. During the arrest, Yok also reported that she has been subject to sexual harassment committed by the police as several male police official were sitting on top of her, using their hands to search and touch her body including her breast in order to take away from her iPad which was hidden in her undershirt. She was then dragged to the interrogation room. On the following days, around seven women police officials carried her to a vehicle to take her to the Juvenile Court. At the Court, Yok turned her back to the judges and insisted on refusing to accept the legitimacy of the judicial process. The Court then issued a detention order to have her held in custody at the Juvenile and Protection Center (Ban Pranee Juvenile Vocational Training Center for Girls in Nakhon Pathom) for 30 days. 

Nonetheless, the issuance of arrest warrant in this case has not been made in compliance with Section 66(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code which prescribes that a warrant of arrest shall be issued when there is justifiable evidence supporting that any person might have committed an offence and there is reasonable belief that he may abscond, tamper with evidence. For Yok, her attorney and her have filed a request to reschedule her turning herself in dur to the need for her education and the inquiry official has already received the written request. In addition, as a minor studying in junior high school, it is highly unlikely that Yok may tamper with the evidence of the inquiry official. After all, all the evidence in this case has been secured by the inquiry official already.  

In addition, according to Section 69 of the Juvenile and Family Court and Juvenile and Family Case Procedure Act B.E. 2553, in arresting a child or juvenile alleged to have committed an offence, an officer who conducts an arrest shall notify the child or juvenile that he or she is arrested and shall bring the child or youth to the court instantly for a review of the arrest. If the arrest is deemed unlawful, the child or the youth has to be released pursuant to Sections 72 and 73. Bur during the arrest of Yok, the police failed to either produce the arrest warrant or explain the reasons of the arrest. That shall render Yok’s arrest unlawful. Thailand is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which guarantee the rights of the child to participate in a peaceful public assembly. In particularly, Article 21 of the ICCPR protect the right to freedom of a peaceful public assembly of all persons without discrimination while Article 15 of CRC upholds this principle as well by asserting that a state party is obliged to ensure a child has the right to exercise their right to freedom of a peaceful public assembly.  

This month, six more individuals have been indicted. Parit Chiwarak was indicted for allegedly posting a letter he wrote to the King during the “Ratsadon San” demonstration on 8 November 2020 to reiterate his demands for monarchy reform. He is an activist that faces as many as 23 cases relating to Section 112, 18 of which have been prosecuted, the highest ever recorded number. Sophon Surariddhidhamrong was indicted for allegedly making a speech during a public assembly, ‘Mob1May65’ in front of the Government House. “Fluke” Kittiphon (last name withheld) was indicted for allegedly holding a photo frame with the statement “Ain't having anything to eat in King Rama X reign” while participating in the CarMobUbon in August 2021. Veha Sanchonchanasuek was indicted for allegedly posting a photo and making a caption to criticize the verdict in which “Narin” was convicted and sentenced to jail term for allegedly putting a sticker “KuKult” on the portrait of King Rama X on 4 March 2022. Center (pseudonym) was indicted for allegedly posting a Facebook message during the crackdown of the public assemblies in Bangkok in October 2020.20 Suspects in the five cases have been granted bail. Meanwhile, Wuth (pseudonym) who was accused of posting 12 Facebook messages in 2021 have been denied bail as the Court cited that the offences have been committed repeatedly and serially and given the severe punishment as well as flight risk. Wuth has since been remanded in custody at the Minburi Remand Prison. 

Verdicts have been delivered in at least eight cases. Three of them were to acquit defendants including Chatmongkol Walli who was accused of posting comment in Facebook Page of Sri Suriyothai for a lack of implicating evidence to hold the defendant accountable, Somphon (pseudonym) was accused of hurling bags full of red liquid at portraits of the royal family in various spots while driving his motorcycle in the provinces of Pathumthani, Nonthaburi and Bangkok on 13 February 2022. He was acquitted of all charges concerning Section 112 in the precinct of the two police stations citing that he only intended to inflict damage on the property of other persons. He was convicted on Section 360 and sentenced to one year for each count, which was reduced to six months for each count. Altogether, he was jailed for 24 months without suspension, but were bailed out. Sainam was acquitted in all charges related to Section 112 by the Central Juvenile and Family Court after being accused of sticking a paper with a statement that read “CANCEL LAW 112” and spray-painting black color over the statement “Long Live His Majesty” on a portrait of King Rama X during the public assembly “Reclaiming Thailand, Ousting Parasites”, on 18 July 2021 citing a lack of evidence. He was nonetheless convicted on an offence against the Emergency Decree since he was found to be present during the demonstration and was fined 6,000 baht, which was later reduced to 4,000 baht. 

The Courts have convicted defendants in five cases. Ked (pseudonym) and Yuy (pseudonym) was convicted for allegedly holding a sign during the Car Mob Duan Nakhonping Jiangmai Ousting Prayut on 1 August 2021 and sentenced to three years which was later reduced to one year and six months without suspension. Tonmai (pseudonym) was convicted for selling the yellow duck desk calendar for 2021 in “Ratsadon” Facebook Page. The authorities alleged that the calendar featured photos and captions which makes a mockery of and deemed offensive against the King. He was sentenced to three years, which was reduced to two years without suspension, but was bailed out. Phonchai Wimolsuppawong was convicted for allegedly posting four Facebook messages from 18 October to 19 November 2020 implying that the King was not impartial and was sentenced on Section 112 to three years for each count, altogether four counts, 12 years. He was remanded in custody at the Chiang Mai Central Prison on 13 March 2023 and was later bailed out on 18 March 2023. Jai (pseudonym) was convicted for writing a caption with hashtag relating to the King under the portrait of King Rama IX. He was found guilty as the Court cited that even though the offence was about the late King Rama IX, its ramification could be felt on the reigning monarch and after all the legal provision does not specifically says that it only protects the reigning monarch. The imprisonment was reduced by one third to two years without suspension while he was bailed out. Watchara (last name withheld) and Wirachach (last name withheld) was convicted for hanging on the balcony of their dormitory a banner that said “Funk the Leaders, Fuck also….” to criticize the government and the King on 13 July 2021 and were sentenced to four years each, which was reduced to two years each with suspension of the jail term. 

In addition to the onslaught of indictments on Section 112, there have no reports of the non-prosecution orders in such cases. It is also worrying that the interpretation of Section 112 tends to be so vague and this has led to the unreasonable verdicts. For example, the cases against Sirichai and Thanaphon, the offences of which were not directly related to the current monarch. Still, the Courts found them guilty for an offence against Section 112 since they interpreted that the actions committed shall affect King Rama X and the monarchy as a while. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Thailand is a state party protects individuals who exercise their right to freedom of expression under Article 19 and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly under Article 21. In addition, the UN Human Rights Committee has raised concern about lese majeste laws around the world by stating that all public figures, including those exercising the highest political authority such as heads of state and government, are legitimately subject to criticism and political opposition. Criticisms of public institutions should not be prohibited. Even though certain accusations on lese majeste may be perceived of involving an act of defamation, but the Committee holds that “imprisonment shall never be an appropriate sanction in all such cases.” 

2. Sedition pursuant to the Penal Code’s Section116, at least 130 suspects in 40 cases  

The arrest warrant issued by the Thanyaburi Provincial Court was executed against Sathon (pseudonym) relating to the Thammasat Enough is Enough public assembly on 10 August 2020 at the Payanak Plaza, Thammasat University’s Rangsit Campus, Pathumthani Province, when he has gone to the Chulalongkorn Pratunam Metropolitan Police Station in Pathumthani. He pled not guilty to all charges and was later bailed out.

3. An offence against the Emergency Decree, at least 1,469 suspects in 663 cases  

Ten students and activists of Ratsadon Khon Kaen were indicted in cases concerning the CarMobKhon Kaen 3 “Ousting Prayut” on 22 August 2021. In addition, non-prosecution orders were issued for the two cases including the case against Chamnong Noophan for participating in the People's Movement for Just Society (P-Move)’s public assemblies late January 2022 and Phachara Khamchamnan in the Save Bangkloi case for participating in the activity to protest against Prayut and to follow up on the pledge to set up a committee to address the problems faced by the people of Bang Kloi on 1 February 2022.

Verdicts were delivered in at least 11 cases. Five cases have been dismissed including the case against 20 individuals being arrested at the Victory Monument and Din Daeng Intersection after the public assembly on 10 August 2021 since it was not possible to establish that they were the organizers,the case against 15 individuals for participating in the public assembly on 18 July 2020 led by the ​Free Youth at the Democracy Monument since the protest site was deemed open-air. All of them were, however, fine 200 baht each, except Sirin, on charges concerning unauthorized use of amplifier, the case against five activists and academics for organizing and participating in the “Light Up JUSTICE” event at Skywalk, Pathumwan intersection on 10 May 2021 as the Court cited that it was an exercise of freedom enshrined in the Constitution and no acts could be deemed to help spread the diseases. They were, however, each fined 200 baht for the use of amplifier. Chonthicha Jaengrew was acquitted by the Dusit Kwaeng Court on two cases concerning the Emergency Decree for organizing the “Poem, Music, Freedom, Uncover the Disappeared” to commemorate victims of enforced disappearance at the 14 October Memorial on 22 August 2020 citing the venue was not crammed and the Announcement of the Chief Officer was issued without power and Regulation no. 5 has been rescinded. She was, however, fined 200 baht for unauthorized use of amplifier, and her participation in the Mob18Oct to the Victory Monument on 18 October 2020 to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister and to demand constitutional and legal reform concerning the monarchy. Although the events were organized when the declaration of the Severe Emergency Situation, the Court believed it was an exercise of freedom of peaceful public assembly according to the Constitution and none of the defendants was found to have instigated or abetted violence.

In five cases, the defendants were found guilty including Wattanachai Suebsiribut, Woraphong Somajcha, Kittipong Pansoongnoen, and Boriphat Kumanbook in CarMobKorat which was organized throughout the country on 1 August 2021. The Nakhon Ratchasima Kwaeng Court acquitted Woraphong and Kittipong while Wattanachai and Boriphat have pleaded guilty and were fined 10,000 baht each, before reducing it by half to 5,000 baht each, but the public prosecutor appealed the case. The Appeals Court later ruled to convict Woraphong and Kittipong for participating or organizing an activity which might likely spread the disease, and fined them 2,000 baht each.


@Kan Sangtong

Worawan Tang who undressed herself in front of rows of the crowd control police during the public assembliy Mob28Sept2021 was found guilty for violating the Emergency Decree and fined 30,000 baht. For going naked in public under Section 388, she was fined 4,000 baht. Altogether, she was fined 34,000 baht. Weerawit Rungroengsiriphon and Chokedee Rompruk who participated in the Car Mob on 10 July 2021 at the Democracy Monument was found guilty for violating the Emergency Decree and were fined 30,000 baht each. Weerawit was also found guilty for violating the Road Traffic Act’s Section 133 for unauthorized organization of conveyances driving in parade and fined 500 baht. In total, Weerawit was fined 30,500 baht while Chokedee was fined 30,000 baht. Aphisit Promrit who participated in the Car Mob Kamphaeng Phet Enough is Enough on 1 August 2021 was found guilty in a retrial and sentenced to three 3 months of imprisonment and fined 30,000 baht, which were reduced by one third to 2 months of imprisonment and a 20,000-baht-fine with one year of suspension. Suwit and Nutthapong who participated in the Mob11Sept64 at the Din Daeng Intersection was acquitted by the Court for charges concerning obstructing and resisting an official and illegal association, but was found guilty for violating the Emergency Decree and sentenced to 2 months of imprisonment and a fine of 6,000 baht which were reduced to one month of imprisonment and a fine of 3,000 baht with two years of suspension.  


4. An offence against the Public Assembly Act, at least 136 suspects in 77 cases  

Passaravalee Thanakitvibulphol, Payu Boonsophon, Panupong Srithananuwat, and Kornchanok Saenprasert have gone to answer to charges as summoned relating to the Ratsadon Stop APEC protest on 18 November 2022. There are already 25 other suspects being charged on the offence relating to the same incidence.

5. An offence against the Computer Crimes Act, at least 163 suspects in 183 cases  

Verdicts have been delivered in two such cases including the case against twitter user with “Niranam” as his aliases (name withheld) for allegedly posting eight messages concerning the monarchy during 29 October 2019 to 3 January 2020. He was sentenced to 48 months and a fine of 80,000 baht, with jail term suspended for three years. Sirichai Nathuang was indicted for refusing to disclose passcodes of two of his mobile devices as requested for by the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) after being bailed out in a Section 112 case on 14 January 2021. He was fined by the Lower Court for 40,000 baht, although Sirichai argued that the order to force him to disclose such information was made unlawfully since he was alleged to have spray painted, and there was nothing to do with a computer system. Nonetheless, the Appeals Court upheld the verdict and fined him for 40,000 baht affirming the police was authorized to request for the passcodes from him and if there was going to be further damage, he could have held them accountable later. 

6. A contempt of court, at least 36 suspects in 20 cases, and insult of the court, at least 28 suspects in 9 cases 

Individuals remanded in custody as of March 2023 

This month several some individuals being remanded in custody for a short stint as verdicts have gradually been delivered in cases relating to public assemblies, mostly concerned with having explosive in possession. This includes Thatpong Khiawkhao who was accused of having explosive in possession and arrested at an APEC 2022 checkpoint on 16 November 2022. Previously, he had been remanded in custody for 84 days. Chanadon Loymankhong was indicted for participating in a public assembly in Din Daeng on 20 August 2021.47 Both were remanded at the Bangkok Remand Prison following their indictments since their bail applications have been denied. Meanwhile, Chakri (last name withheld) was charged for participating in a Thalu Gas public assembly on 16 September 2021. He was found guilty and sentenced to four years, which were reduced to two years without suspension. Jittakon (last name withheld) was arrested in front of his condominium in Din Daeng as the crowd control police were charging to crack down on the Mob6Oct64 public assembly and was convicted and sentenced to three years of imprisonment for having explosive in possession while being acquitted on violating curfew ban.49 Both are allowed to post bail pending their appeals. It has given rise to doubt as to the criteria for bail application and why certain individuals recently indicted have been denied bail. In addition to cases of such offence, there is a Section 112 case against Wuth (pseudonym) who following his indictment has been denied bail.

As to the verdicts in other cases, Sakda (last name withheld) and Kanpirom (last name withheld) were accused of setting fire on police towing truck of the Royal Thai Police at an intersection under the Din Daeng Expressway on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road on 11 August 2021. They were each convicted and sentenced to 4-year-imprisonment before reducing to two years. Both were taken to be remanded at the Bangkok Remand Prison on 15 March 2023,and were bailed out on 20 March 2023 being in jail for altogether five days. Arthit (last name withheld) and Namchiaw (last name withheld) were accused of conspiring to set fire on prisoner transport vehicle during the public assembly on 7 August 2021 at the Victory Monument and were convicted on Section 217. While the offence took place, Namchiaw was yet 20 years of age, and the Court has therefore reduced his punishment by a third. While Arthit was sentenced to two years, Namchiaw got one year and four months. Since Namchiaw used to be convicted and sentenced by the Juvenile and Family Court to one year and six months with suspension. Since the offence took place before the expiration of the suspension period, the previous imprisonment has to be added to the current one. He is therefore receiving jail term of altogether two years and 10 months. Both are allowed to post bai. 

Pichai (last name withheld) and Narubet (last name withheld) were accused of hurling explosive devices at patrol vehicle of the Lumphini Police Station at the Ratchaprasong intersection on 4 October 2021. Both were convicted by the Court. While Pichai received an imprisonment of three years, four months and fifteen days, and a fine of 2,800 baht, Narubet was to serve three years and 4 months in jail and will be fined for 2,150 baht without suspension. Pichai and Narubet were taken to and remanded at the Bangkok Remand Prison since 16 March 2023, and were released on bail on 18 March 2023. Altogether, they spent three days in jail. Anond (last name withheld) and Yim (pseudonym) were convicted for participating in the Mob12Sept64 at the Din Daeng Intersection. While Anond was sentenced to four years and two months without suspension, Yim was to serve one month and ten days and to be fined for 3,000 baht. Given the offence was committed when Yin was 18, the punishment has been reduced to a fine of 3,000 baht while all other charges have been dismissed. Anond was taken to be remanded at the Bangkok Remand Prison on 23 March 2023, and was bailed out on 28 March 2023.

Apart from the 15-year-old Yok, who has been remanded in custody on the offence against Section 112 at a juvenile and observation facility (Ban Pranee Juvenile Vocational Training Center for Girls in Nakhon Pathom), Hin (pseudonym) was another youth being remanded in custody. He was arrested the night of 24 March 2023 for participating in the public assembly on 21 November 2021 on Ratchaprarop Road. When the incidence happened, Hin was only 17. He was later denied bail by the Juvenile Court and as a result he was remanded at the Bangkok Juvenile Observation and Protection Center. 

As of March, seven are still remanded in custody including two minors include.

There are therefore six convicted prisoners including Anchan (Section112), Suppakorn (Computer Crime Act), Corporal Methin (Section 112), Kritsana and Wannapa (Organization For a Thai Federation case, being members of criminal associations), Parithat (Section 112) and Kathathon (having explosive in possession). The Court has read the verdict after Kathathon and Kongpetch had decided to plead guilty to the charges. While Kathathon was sentenced to one year, three months and 15 days and a fine of 1,925 baht, Kongpetch was jailed for 10 months and 10 days and fined for 450 baht and having the explosive, knives, and cloth bags forfeited. Since Kongpetch’s outstanding jail term was four days, he fold the attorney he wanted to serve the remaining time in jail.59 Meanwhile, Kathathon was still denied bail even though he has been remanded in custody for over 11 months. He decided to not appeal his verdict and will serve the remaining time in jail.

The state of harassment against the public as of March 2023

There have not been many reported cases of harassment this month given a lack of large-scale public assemblies with a lot of participants. Meanwhile, the number of public assemblies has since declined from February and as a result, the number of harassment incidences to preempt the public assmblies has reduced as well. The harassment can be divided as follows;  

Harassment due to the visit of VIP persons  

  • The Prime Minister  

Boss (pseudonym), freelance reporter and 30-50 members of the Udonthani Conservation Group have tried to submit a letter of petition to General Prayut Chan-ocha against potash mining. Boss was stopped by the police who asked to see his ID card. Meanwhile, the villagers and the Conservation Group were prevented from entering the university premises at the police checkpoint. They were stopped there until it was not possible to hand the letter to General Prayut. The police also took photo and video of Boss while he was taken to a coffee place about five kilometers away.61 Two plainclothes officials on motorbike used mobile phone to take photos of the house of activists from the Crew bar Multitude Chiang Mai before leaving from there. Presumably, they wanted to monitor the activists pending the official visit by Gen Prayut in Chiang Mai.62 As activists in Chiang Mai attempted to hold signs to call out Gen Prayut during his visit at the entrance of Chiang Mai University, they were blocked by rows of police forces who even carried with them white banners to block the view of the protesters’ placards. Police vehicles were pulled over there to block the view as well. Meanwhile, plainclothes officials were holding umbrellas to hide some people who took video of the event. 

Harassment to disrupt activities  

Plainclothes officials have gone to examine the vendor booth of Samanchon Books during the annual book fair at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC). The vendor booth was decorated with the number ‘112’ with a strikethrough. The officials asked the staff to remove all such decoration citing the owner of the venue was highly concerned with the consequences.

Trend of harassment in April 2023 

The authorities continue to stay vigilant of people’s attempts to express themselves. Any political activities including ones with many participants, or ones with people holding some paper could result in the participants being held in custody. The authorities have never been hesitant to exercise their power to deprive people’s rights and freedoms to ensure public order and national security. Therefore, it can be projected based on the harassment in March that there will be on an increase and tends to escalate toward more violence. Any political activities by even small activist groups or even by one single person could be subjected to surveillance and stifled by the authorities.