Thailand: Another activist arrested amidst pro-democracy protests throughout the country

14 August 2020

Amnesty International Thailand

Responding to the arrest of a prominent activist today, Piyanut Kotsan, Amnesty International Thailand’s Director, said:


 “Today’s arrest is yet another example of the authorities’ crackdown on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. Far from providing protection to peaceful protestors, the police instrumentalized repressive legislations as a political tool to silence those who peacefully express opinions or criticisms of the government.

“Amnesty International calls on the authorities to drop all charges against and immediately release Parit Chiwarak who, along with the pair arrested last Friday and other protestors, simply exercised their constitutional right. We further urge the authorities to seek alternative channels for communications or initiate a dialogue with the protesters with the intention to promote and protect the right to peaceful assembly.

“The backslide of human rights since the current administration took office has been even more alarming. The space for peaceful activism and expression will shrink further if the international community does not demand immediate changes.”



On Friday 14 August, police arrested Parit Chiwarak, member of the Student Union of Thailand as he was heading to join an anti-government protest in Nonthaburi province, near Thailand’s capital Bangkok.


Parit faces charges for his involvement in three peaceful protests. For the first case stemming from his participation in #SaveWanchalearm activity on 5 June 2020, the charge is violation of the Emergency Decree. For the second case of his involvement in commemoration of Siamese Revolution activity on 24 June 2020, the charges are violation of the Emergency Decree; the use of an amplifier without permission under Article 4 of the Controlling Public Advertisement by Sound Amplifier Act; scattering leaflets without permission and installing object in the public place without permission under Article 10 and 39 of the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness Act. For the third case of his participation in the anti-government protest on 18 July 2020, the charges include sedition, assembly intended to do act of violence, refusing to comply with an order of an official, obstructing the public way and committing an act of  violence not  amounting  to bodily or  mental harm  to the other person under Articles 116, 215, 368, 385 and 391 of the Penal Code, respectively; violation of the Emergency Decree; offence under the Communicable Diseases Act; obstructing the traffic under Article 114 of the Land Traffic Act; Article 19 of the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness Act; and the use of an amplifier without permission under Article 4 of the Controlling Public Advertisement by Sound Amplifier Act.


On 7 August 2020, two prominent activists Arnon Nampa and Panupong Jadnok were also arrested and brought to the police station and then the Bangkok Criminal Court for similar allegations due to their participation in the 18 July protest.


Since the imposition of the Emergency Decree on 26 March 2020, officials have continuously detained and initiated criminal complaints against individuals who engaged in peaceful protests and activities. Demonstrators have also reported numerous incidents of harassment and intimidation by police officers solely for their involvement in peaceful protests since then, including ongoing student-led peaceful demonstrations calling for a new constitution, resignation of the government, and an end to harassment of the police opposition.