A group of student activists were detained this afternoon after they tied white bows at the Democracy Monument to protest the alleged forced disappearance of exile Wanchalerm Satsaksit.
Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and two other members of the Student Union of Thailand were taken Tuesday afternoon to the Samranrat Police Station and charged under the Road Traffic Act for tying the bows in front of the Ratchadamnoen Avenue monument.
Their confrontation with police was streamed live over social media. In the footage, police officers could be seen asking them to stop filming.
“Three students came to tie a bow, but 30 cops came. What are you afraid of?” Parit tweeted at around 3pm today.
Prior to visiting the monument, Parit and friends tied the same bows at other venues including the headquarters of the Royal Thai Army and Defense Ministry.
A growing chorus of individuals and groups have demanded information about Wanchalerm’s disappearance last week. The 37-year-old Ubon Ratchathani native was last seen being forced into a black vehicle Thursday evening in the Cambodian capital.
On Friday, the student union group organized a protest on a downtown skywalk to demand answers from authorities in both Thailand and Cambodia. Both governments have denied having knowledge about what happened to him.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said at a press conference today that he hadn’t heard of Wanchalerm prior to his disappearance. He said he would be happy to assist with any investigation.
His is the latest in a string of disappearances of dissidents overseas in which suspicion has fallen on Thai security forces.
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