Activists arrested handing out ‘vote no’ flyers

Pro-democracy activists and unionists have been arrested for distributing ‘vote no’ flyers to people at an industrial estate after the authorities asked them to stop the activity.  
On Wednesday, 23 June 2016, Rangsiman Rome, a prominent activist from the New Democracy Movement, an anti-junta activist group, was arrested while handing out flyers calling for a no vote in the August draft charter referendum, to workers at Bangplee Industrial Estate, Samut Prakan Province. 
Jittra Cotchadet, a unionist who witnessed the arrest, told Prachatai that while the activist and his friends were distributing the flyers, soldiers from the Royal Thai Marine Corps approached them and asked them to stop by 5.30 pm. The activists then asked the authorities to let them continue the activity until 6.00 pm as the workers in the estate would finish work by that time.
However, the soldiers rejected the request, carried Rangsiman away, put him in a car, and then drove off.
Jittra added that apart from Rangsiman, the authorities also arrested Nanthapong Panmat, a student activist from Ramkhamhaeng University, and unionists who helped the NDM hand out the flyers. 
About 10 people were reportedly arrested and taken to a police station.
The soldiers arrest Rangsiman Rome for distributing Vote No flyers. Photo courtesy of NDM



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”