Activists charged over APEC 2022 protest

10 months after participating in an anti-government protest during the 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in November 2022, two activists have received police summonses on charges relating to the protest.

Labour rights activist Thanaporn Wichan and student activist Akhin (pseudonym) were charged for participating in the 17 November 2022 protest at the Asoke Montri intersection. Protesters were planning to march to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, where APEC meetings were taking place, to submit a petition to APEC leaders on human rights violations in Thailand. However, they were prevented from marching by crowd control police, who blocked the Asoke Montri intersection. They then decided to read their statement at the intersection before ending the protest.

Both Thanaporn and Akhin were charged with violation of the Public Assembly Act for not notifying the police that they were organizing a protest. Thanaporn was also charged with using a sound amplifier without permission because she was a speaker during the protest.

Meanwhile, Akhin was charged with violation of the Act on the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country for using paint during the protest. The police accused Akhin of splattering green paint around, some of which got on the crowd control police stationed nearby, and claimed that other protesters were throwing paint and water and spraying paint onto the officers.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) said Thanaporn and Akhin received summonses on 4 September requiring them to report to Lumpini Police Station on 15 September to hear the charges. The summonses arrived 10 months after the event. TLHR said that two other activists also received summonses for the same protest, but were unavailable and had asked the police to move their appointment.

The police also named activists Nutthanit Duangmusit and Sopon Surariddhidhamrong as organisers of the protest, but neither have received a summons. Sopon is also detained pending appeal on a royal defamation charge.  


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