Military claims red-shirt detainee wants to stay longer at military camp

The military have refused to disclose the whereabouts of a red-shirt supporter who has been detained for 13 days, and say he wants to continue his stay in a military camp. 
On Friday, lawyers from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, a network of human rights lawyers, met the police and the military to ask for information regarding Yongyuth Boondee, aka “Daeng Shinjang,” because he has been detained for longer than seven days -- the period allowed under martial law. Moreover, no one has even been able to contact him and his whereabouts have never been disclosed.
The military’s judge advocate staff presented a document signed by Yongyuth to the lawyers. The document stated that the red shirt voluntarily asked the military to continue his detention under the care of the military, Pornpen Kongkajornkiet, a member of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, told Prachatai on Friday. 
It should be noted that Kritsuda Khunasen, an ex-detainee who was illegally detained for more than 20 days, said during an interview after she fled the country that she was forced to sign the same kind of document, stating that she wanted to stay longer in military detention.  
The police and the military refused to disclose the whereabouts of Yongyuth and did not allow lawyers to contact him. 
Earlier, the lawyers contacted Klong Prem Central Prison, the Provincial Police Region 1 and the Crime Suppression Division to inquire about Yongyuth's whereabouts, but received no information.
(L) Red afro hairstyle wig, red tank top, and red pants were Yongyuth's signature costume when joining red-shirt rallies, (R) Yongyuth is a full-time construction worker. Photo courtesy of Thai Fight against the Rebel on Facebook
On 28 July, a red-shirt Facebook page, Thai Fight against the Rebel, reported that Yongyuth was arrested by 40-50 police and military officers at around 9 pm in northern Chiang Mai Province. An eyewitness who saw his arrest was a security personnel of the British Consulate. Later on 1 August, the police held a press briefing and said the construction worker was arrested under a warrant issued by the Nonthaburi Provincial Court for attempted murder of others by premeditation, for causing explosions and for possession of lethal war weapons. The police accused Yongyuth of launching several M79 grenade attacks around Bangkok during the six-month anti-government protests led by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). According to the police, Yongyuth confessed to committing the attacks. The suspect said he is a red-shirt supporter. He was invited to join a red-shirt underground militant wing, led by Chatchawan Prapbumrung.
Yongyuth, 26, is a construction worker from northeastern Roi Et Province. He joined the red-shirt movement in 2011. A red afro hairstyle wig, red tank top, and red pants are his signature costume when joining red-shirt rallies. He regularly went to red-shirt rallies but he was not a red-shirt guard, according to his friend.  
The junta’s National Council for Peace and Order on 11 June summoned Yongyuth to report in. 
Yongyuth at the press briefing where the police claimed he confessed to attacking several spots in Bangkok with M79 grenades. Photo Courtesy of Khaosod


Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: [email protected], please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”