Prominent protest spokesperson Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul was arrested this afternoon, September 22nd, in Bangkok for alleged sedition and violating the Computer Crimes Act by reportedly posting provocative online statements around a recent pro-democracy protest to join them, according to Royal Thai Police.
The arrest was made following an arrest warrant of a crime being issued under Section 116 of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crime Act. Rung was caught at her residence where she stayed with roommates from the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) in Pathum Thani before being taken to the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) for interrogation.
According to the warrant, Rung, as the alleged administrator of the UFTD fan page, had allegedly posted an online status inviting protesters to join the “carmob” rally to oust Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha and his government. According to Royal Thai Police, this invitation was seen as a violation of Thai law.
The TCSD officials requested Rung’s temporary detention at the Criminal Court later this afternoon. The petition stated that posting such a solicitation message has provoked the people to gather in unpeaceful protests in violation of the law. The message also brings false information into a computer system which is an offense related to national security or an offense related to terrorism, according to the TCSD.
However, as of 5:30 PM., the Criminal Court had granted bail for Rung at 35,000 baht without other conditions. Rung, which means rainbow in Thai, has been arrested multiple times over the past year for her role in protests and rallies. She has stressed she is merely speaking her opinion and not violating any laws.
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