Thai Activist Anon Nampa Arrested Again for Rally Seeking Monarchical Reforms

Charges of sedition will be brough against Nampa for his part in a political rally where he sought reforms in the country's monarchy

Thailand police said that human rights lawyer Anon Nampa was arrested on Tuesday for a third time this month. The arrest will bring charges of sedition against Nampa for his part in a political rally where he sought reforms in the country's monarchy.

Police Lieutenant General Amphol Buarabporn told Reuters, "The police brought Anon to the station to read him the charges for his protests on August 10, and will question him before bringing him to court to file for detention."

Protesters Vow to Hold Planned Demonstration

Anon Nampa
Anon Nampa Wikimedia Commons

The rights lawyer will be held along with another political activist, Panupong Jadnok, who was arrested on Monday during a protest against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who first seized power in a 2014 coup.

Protesters vowed to move ahead with a planned demonstration on September 19, the anniversary of a previous coup in 2006. Police said both Anon and Panupong face charges for violating article 116, which covers sedition, and for breaching coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings.

Arrested Several Times

Anon, 36, has been at the forefront of a movement that has staged protests almost daily for the past month in the Southeast Asian country. He was the first to call openly for changes to King Maha Vajiralongkorn's role, breaking a longstanding taboo.

He has been arrested on similar charges twice before, and released on bail. Police have arrested student leaders, rappers and activists for participating in demonstrations, but neither Anon or any of the other protesters have been charged under Thailand's 'lese majeste' law, which punishes criticism of the monarchy with up to 15 years in prison.

Thousands of protesters had joined the rally on August 10 at a university on the outskirts of Bangkok, where protesters issued a 10-point plan for reform and also called for Prime Minister Prayuth to resign. Challenges to the monarchy were extremely rare under Vajiralongkorn's father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in 2016 after 70 years on the throne.

(With inputs from agencies)