Target: General Paiboon Khumchaya, Minister of Justice
Goal: Release students arrested during peaceful military protest.
Fourteen students went into a peaceful protest against the military rule in Thailand and were put under arrest for their support of Neo-Democracy. General Udomdej Seetabutr issued military warrants for their arrest and accused them of being backed by anti-government groups and posing a possible violent threat in an effort to get them off the streets.
The students were holding a protest against the same exact rule that was used to arrest them for exercising their freedom of speech. Using military force to oppress young people and their beliefs is not a step in the right direction toward backing the repeated claim by Thailand’s military generals that they are not dictators.
Using military tactics to prevent the spread of protests and public opinion about the government are an all too common tactic in Thailand. These students had no ulterior motives beyond expressing a desire for a democracy and shouldn’t be detained like criminals.
They will be held in prison for 12 days until their trial, which will determine whether or not they will face jail time for organizing and participating in this protest against their government. Thailand needs to show they are not a dictatorship and respect the rights of the people to oppose their rule peacefully by releasing all 14 students and not pressing charges, as well as allowing their protests in the future if they again decide to rally. Sign this petition to demand an end to the oppression of free speech in the country.
Dear General Khumchaya,
Recently, your military force got a warrant to arrest 14 nonviolent student protesters and hold them for trial in prison for almost two weeks. These students were peacefully protesting the military rule of the government, and instead of being shown they have a right to their opinion, they were given an example of exactly what they were protesting.
Having a dislike of the tactics and rulers of a government is a basic right for all citizens, and it happens in all countries. Properly handling these protests with respect for individual voice is an important skill for a government that needs to be better executed by Thailand.
The scene and attention their arrest has caused is not the right message for the government to be sending about military rule in Thailand. These students should not face jail time for their voice, and they should be allowed to have opinions about the tactics of their government. These 14 students should be immediately released and allowed to resume whatever peaceful protest they feel is necessary.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Khun Co