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  • Sombat Boonngamanong : Thailand arrests anti-coup activist

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27727510


    Protesters wore masks of Mr Sombat during demonstrations he helped to organise


    Thai police have arrested a prominent anti-coup activist for violating an order to report to the ruling junta.
    Sombat Boonngamanong, who led an online campaign organising rallies against the coup, was arrested late on Thursday in the eastern Chonburi province.
    Hundreds were detained after the coup, but most have since been freed.
    Meanwhile, corruption investigators have widened their inquiry into former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, investigating her private assets.
    The National Anti-Corruption Commission's investigation is connected to a rice-subsidy scheme in which the government bought rice from farmers at above-market prices to boost rural incomes.



    Mr Sombat has had a large internet following in Thailand




    The three-finger salute from The Hunger Games films has become a symbol of defiance against the junta




    The military is waging a charm offensive internally and externally


    The commission had already indicted Ms Yingluck over charges of dereliction of duty, saying that she failed to heed advice that the scheme was potentially wasteful and prone to corruption.
    The body has made several rulings against Ms Yingluck and her government, which her supporters suspect was part of a conspiracy to oust her from office last month.
    Ms Yingluck was detained last month at an undisclosed location as leaders of Thursday's military coup tightened their grip on power.
    'Catch me if you can' Military spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong said an army team had tracked down Mr Sombat through the internet.
    Mr Sombat was summoned by the ruling junta but refused to turn himself in, posting a Facebook message which read: "Catch me if you can."
    He previously led a pro-democracy group called Red Sunday, reports the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok.
    He was also one of the only prominent red shirt activists to defy the Thai military by taunting them from his Facebook and Twitter accounts, our correspondent adds.
    Mr Sombat has urged followers to stage peaceful public rallies, and has encouraged the flashing of the three-finger salute from The Hunger Games films that has become a symbol of defiance against the junta.
    An unnamed military official told AFP news agency that Mr Sombat would be detained at an army facility for a week.
    "During that time the military will question him on his movements, behaviour and his incitement," the official said, adding that Mr Sombat would face further police interrogation and appear before a military court.

  • #3
    Sombat handover to police Wednesday
    10/06/2014

    Sombat Boonngam-anong, founder of the Mirror Foundation and leader of the Red Sunday group, will be handed over by the military to the police Technonology Crime Suppression Division for interrogation tomorrow, Pol Maj Gen Pisit Pao-in said on Tuesday.

    Pol Maj Gen Pisit, an adviser to the Information and Communications Technology Ministry, said the military had informed him that Mr Sombat would be taken to the TCSD tomorrow for questioning. He allegedly posted false information on the social media in violation of Section 14 (2) of the Computer Act.

    Mr Sombat would also face two other charges - inciting public unrest and defying the summons of the National Council for Peace and Order.

    After questioning, Mr Sombat would be sent back for indictement in the military court, Pol Maj Gen Pisit said.

    Mr Sombat was arrested at a friend's house in Pan Thong district of Chon Buri province on June 5 and has been held in military custody since, attending classes to "fine-tune" his attitude.

    bangkokpost.com
    http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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    • #4
      Open letter from Sombat's daughter to Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha
      http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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      • #5
        Sombat appears before military court

        12/06/2014

        Anti-coup campaigner Sombat Boonngamanong, leader of the Red Siam Group and founder of the Mirror Foundation, has been formally charged with inciting unrest, violating the Computer Act and defying the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), according to Pol Col Prasopchoke Prommun.

        Pol Col Prasopchoke, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division, said Mr Sombat was formally informed of the charges after he was handed over to the Crime Suppression Division by the military on Thursday morning.

        He denied all the charges.

        From the CSD, the police took Mr Sombat to the Bangkok Military Court to seek court permission to detain him for 12 more days for further interrogation. The police can seek permission to detain him four times, each for a period of 12 days.

        Pol Prasopchoke said the court was to yet to decide on a request for release on bail.

        dga5Oav.jpg
        Sombat Boonngamanong is taken to the Military Court on Thursday morning.
        (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

        bangkokpost.com
        http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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        • #6
          What a travesty. I wonder how many others will be rounded up.

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          • #8
            Thai anti-coup leader may face long jail sentence
            June 12, 2014

            zUrkB7J.jpg
            Thai anti-coup activist Sombat Boonngamanong (C) is escorted by police officers as he arrives at a military court in Bangkok on June 12, 2014. The prominent anti-coup activist faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted of incitement, computer crimes and ignoring a summons by the junta, police said on June 12.
            Photo - AFP

            Bangkok: A prominent anti-coup activist in Thailand faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted of incitement, computer crimes and ignoring a summons by the junta, police said Thursday.

            Sombat Boonngamanong, who led a social media campaign to stage peaceful but illegal rallies against the junta, is set to stand trial in a military court.

            He has been charged with inciting unrest, violating the computer crime act and defying an order by the junta to turn himself in, according to Prasopchoke Prommul, deputy commander of the police's crime suppression division.

            "We will bring him to the military court to seek his detention," he added.

            If found guilty, Sombat faces seven years in jail for incitement, five years for spreading false information over the Internet and two years for ignoring the summons, Prasopchoke said.

            Sombat was one of several hundred politicians, activists, academics and journalists called in by the junta following the May 22 coup.

            Those who attended were detained in secret locations for up to a week and ordered to cease political activities.

            Sombat, a prominent pro-democracy activist, refused to turn himself in, instead posting a message on Facebook saying: "Catch me if you can".

            While on the run he urged followers to stage peaceful public demonstrations, flashing the three-finger salute from "The Hunger Games" films that has become a symbol of defiance against the junta.

            He was tracked down and arrested a week ago in Chonburi, southeast of Bangkok.

            Sombat is the leader of a faction of the "Red Shirts" movement, which broadly supports fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was deposed as prime minister last month.

            Former education minister Chaturon Chaisang, who also refused to answer the summons, was detained by soldiers in a dramatic raid on a news conference last month, and faces trial in a military court.

            The ruling generals last month imposed martial law, media censorship and a night-time curfew as part of what they described as an attempt to end years of political turmoil.

            Critics see the coup as a pretext for a purge of politicians and officials loyal to Thaksin, who was himself ousted by the army in 2006 and lives in Dubai to avoid prison for a corruption conviction.

            The junta has said elections are not expected to be held for at least a year to allow political "reforms", including the drafting of a new constitution.

            timesofoman.com
            http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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            • #9
              Thai dissident: keep junta honest
              THANYARAT DOKSONE
              Jun 19

              BANGKOK (AP) -- The jailed activist who helped organize protests against last month's military takeover in Thailand has some advice for his followers: The coup is an accomplished fact, so concentrate on keeping the junta honest.

              Sombat Boonngam-anong, speaking Thursday to an Associated Press reporter at a prison in Bangkok's northern outskirts, also had some words for the ruling military: don't expect to achieve reconciliation among the country's sharply polarized people by continuing to suppress free speech.

              Sombat, 46, is a veteran social activist who used social media to spearhead the "Hunger Games"-inspired three-finger salute campaign to protest the May 22 coup, even as he was in hiding.

              "The more that protesters keep up overt resistance, the longer it will give an excuse for the military to keep martial law in the country," Sombat said.

              He had to shout through a window to speak to his prison visitors, so his voice was hoarse and he had to pause briefly a few times as he was interviewed. It was not clear if he felt he could speak frankly.

              Sombat was arrested on June 5 in eastern Thailand after being one of a handful of people - among hundreds summoned - to defy an order to report to the military authorities.

              Under regulations imposed by the military, people who don't report in as ordered are subject to prison terms of up to two years and a fine of 40,000 baht ($1,250). They are also threatened with up to seven years in prison under an existing statute against causing public disorder. Sombat's political activity leaves him open to additional charges as well, including under a broadly defined law covering online activity.

              Sombat was captured after organizing groups of demonstrators to come together on Sundays for peaceful anti-coup protests despite a ban on political gatherings of five people or more. The numbers of protesters have now dwindled in the face of a massive show of force by police and soldiers.

              "My message for supporters is that now that the coup is a done deal, they should stop their resistance and instead focus on the issue of transparency for the junta's actions. Promote more checks and balances for their projects," he said.

              The junta has announced a raft of measure that it says will fight corruption and cronyism and clean up society. Some of their proposals involve massive spending, and with no legislature in place, there is no oversight.

              The coup came after months of sometimes violent protests demanding that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra make way for an appointed government to institute reforms and remove her powerful family's influence from politics. Although the army said it stepped in to curb violence, its agenda is nearly identical to that of the protesters.

              Like other detainees, Sombat was first held at an army camp, where he was interrogated and told the military's line on political developments.

              "They came to talk to me a lot and asked a whole host of questions to see whom I have contacted and what kind of activities I was doing," Sombat recalled. "I agreed with the soldiers about the part about the conflict, that the country was divided and that it could turn out badly," he said. "What I don't understand is how they think there could be reconciliation when they haven't allowed anyone to speak freely."

              The army closed down many television and radio stations, allowing them to reopen only on the condition they do not broadcast controversial political material. Newspapers face the same restrictions.

              "No matter what, you have to open up for participation from people from every level and every side. People need to talk. Reconciliation cannot succeed if you don't allow people to talk openly," Sombat said.

              Sombat was one of the first people to organize protests against Thailand's previous coup, in 2006, and became known for his imaginative and non-violent tactics. He was loosely associated with the so-called Red Shirt movement, which supported Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister who was ousted in 2006, and more recently his sister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was forced out of office by a court ruling last month slightly ahead of the coup.

              Sombat's first 12-day detention period ends Monday and he may ask for temporary release, although another arrest warrant involving allegations of anti-monarchy comments - which could carry 15 years' imprisonment - means his time in prison might be prolonged.

              hosted.ap.org
              http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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              • #10

                taweporn
                http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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                • #12
                  Legal slip saved Nuling from two-year term
                  Kasamakorn Chanwanpen
                  September 21, 2015

                  Anti-coup activist Sombat "Nuling" Boonngam-anong Monday survived a penalty for violating the junta's order that he report to it.

                  A court ruled the announcement stipulating the penalties came after the summons request and could not be applied retroactively, said Nuling's lawyer Pavinee Chumsri.

                  Pavinee, who serves as a lawyer at Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), explained that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)'s order No. 3/2014 requesting Nuling to report himself did not stipulate any penalty would be imposed if those whose names were on the list violated the order.

                  And the NCPO's announcement No. 41/2014 which set out the two-year imprisonment came late after that, she said.

                  So, the announcement No. 41/2014 could not be applied to Nuling retroactively, Pavinee said the court had ruled.

                  Although he survived imprisonment, Nuling was fined Bt500 for violating Article 38 of the Criminal Code for failing to observe a lawful order of a public officer, she said.

                  Asked if this could be standardised, that no penalties would be applied for violating the NCPO's orders and announcement, she said no.

                  If the action had come after the announcement of No. 41/2014, the violator would have faced punishment as stipulated under the NCPO announcement, which is the law.

                  All these developments came after the prosecutor had taken legal action against Nuling for violating the junta's order and the court set out the hearing date Monday.

                  nationmultimedia.com
                  http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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