116 The Stories: Tanet “ a little man” who cannot go through !

 
“I was blindfolded and was forced to change cars four times, changed cars 4 times, so I did not know where I was being taken to.”
Tanet revealed his story with us about the place and the condition during being detained all 5 days.
 
On 21 December 2015 at the Tha Prachan campus of Thammasat university,  iLaw had a chance to talk with Tanet or ‘Toon’, a 25-year-old political activist and a defendant  charged with instigating to violate Section 116 of the Criminal Code. He was arrested on 13 December 2015 while he was receiving treatment in a hospital. Also, he was detained in communicado until he was charged and then, bailed out.   
       
[ For more information on Tanet’s case, please refer tohttp://freedom.ilaw.or.th/en/case/698]
 
On the day of his detention, Tanet met a lawyer in order to postpone the hearing of his  charge. In a separate case, he was accused violating the ban on  political gathering  of more than 5 people. He and 11 other activists were charged for their participation in an organized visit to Rajabhakti park on 7 December 2015 to highlight corruption by the military in the park’s construction.   
 
Tanet then described the circumstances of his detention. When he was arrested, he was blindfolded and  was forced to change cars four  times, so he did not know the directions to and the location of the place of his detention. Then, he was taken to a dark room that there was some light only when he was inquired. The police officers informed him that he was the person who created a diagram of the Ratchapakdi Park involved with corruption and shared the diagram online to generate criticism of the army. 
 
Tanet described the conditions in his place of confinement. In his cell, there was television and other electronic gadgets that were not functional. Even though the officers talked to him  in a rude manner, he was provided with sufficient food and medication. However, he still experienced an intimidating, unsafe atmosphere. When he had to change the place of confinement, he always would be blindfolded and taken to a car; he would hear at least 2 security guards’ voices intermittently. He must be forcibly detained in communicado for 7 days according to the Order of the Head of NCPO 3/2015.
 
Tanet then recounted the circumstances of his arrest. He was paying a medical fee at Sirinthorn hospital at the time, while he was aware that he received an arrest warrant. He did not have any intention to escape. He was also aware that there were police officers waiting for him at the patient room since he had received  treatment on 9 December 2015, and he prepared to surrender himself to those police officers after finishing the treatment.  
 
 
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Thanakorn, who was prosecuted according to Articles 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code, had faced a similar experience due to his dissemination of an infographic that detailed the high-level officials implicated in the corruption at Rajabakti Park. Tanet said that he did not know Thanakorn personally, and he did not witness the creation of the infograhic of Ratchapakdi Park. He did not have a leading role in the activist organisation and demonstrations, and he only tried to provide aid to the members as a low-ranking member. 
 
Tanet is from Uthai Thani province, and his house is located at Amphoe Nong Khayang. He has graduated from 12th grade from Phuttamongkonwittaya school Amphoe. History was his favorite subject. Although there were not any role models inspiring him to join the political movement, the tragic events on 14 October 1973 and 6 October 1976 was the thing that he has perceived and felt with. After graduating from school, Tanet  moved to Bangkok and worked as an employee such as delivering ice. In the construction industry, it was the best job available to him that suited his skills.
 
When he was in Bangkok, we  have observed his constant presence in in political activities. Tanet was a short person, and he was only 150 centimeters tall, being thin and having reddish black skin. However, his personality is  strong and active. He would be in the front row  demonstrations and  assume responsibility for various tasks  such as directing traffic, lifting  material, and informing participants to the agenda of the political activities. Despite Tanet not being the leader or the organizer of those activities, he was an active participant  who was trying to help as much as he could.
 
Talking about his  political idea, Tanet stated that he would join groups that had a pro-democracy agenda. Once he joined the UDD, and he was arrested  due to the Emergency Decree in 2010. 
 
The reason for joining the political movement with university students and the New Democracy Movement was that he agreed with their way of advocacy and campaigning and liked to participate in  activities that promoted democracy. He also said that he does not support the dictatorial NCPO government.  
 
“When I decided to choose this pathway of protest, I did not expect to become renowned person or a great leader. I just wanted to know that whether the democracy in Thailand   could exist”  stated Tanet.
 
Tanet stated that he faced threats and harassments due to his involvement in progressive political movements. His arrest while he was receiving treatment in the hospital was the most severe harassment. while he was being in the hospital was the most violent situation. He still does not know if  police officers searched for himat his house in Uthai Thani. Also, though his parents were worried about him, they  did not stop him  from participating in the political activities. Until now, he and his friends agreed that during the New Year period, they would decrease their involvement in political activities to relax.
 
For his charge of instigating to violate the Constitution according to section 116 is judged by a military court, Tanet still does not know what his course of action should be. However,  feeling guilt absolutely made his life more difficult. Especially, this allegation  has made him be perceived as a terrorist, even if this is untrue. He felt the military officers perceive him to have a high standing among the activist political groups. However, he states that he is just an ordinary man, not a the leader or secretary-general of the New Democracy Movement as he is  accused.
 
Tanet left a message to the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand that the government should uphold justice for a minority of people and their political movements who  publicly express their defence of their liberty and rights. In addition, the Commission  should recognize the perspectives of the individuals whose rights have been violated.
 
 
 
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