Police under pressure from protesters after the arrest of protest leaders; rallies called for Saturday

Thai police came under pressure from protesters online and offline after the arrest and detention of student protest leaders on Friday.

Prominent human rights lawyer Anon Numpa and protest leader Nutchanon “Mike” Payakaphan were taken by police into custody for seven charges on Friday including sedition.

30 more student protesters are wanted by police with arrest warrants issued.

The hashtag #ตํารวจอุ้มประชาชน (Police Kidnap the People) trended on Saturday morning with over 146,000 tweets.

Dozens of protesters also gathered at the Bangkok Criminal Court in Ratchada to protest the detentions.

Students have called another rally in downtown Bangkok this afternoon.

Retaliatory measures

Among those wanted by police was prominent student leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak.

Parit told Thai Enquirer that he would not be turning himself in and that he viewed the charges as politically motivated and illegitimate. He will be one of the leaders at Saturday afternoon’s rally.

“I will not turn myself in as the charges are illegitimate,” he said by phone.

According to Parit and other student protest leaders Thai Enquirer has spoken to, the students will be looking to organize counter-protest against the arrest of their leaders as soon as possible.

“I want people to come out and protest this injustice, leading a protest should not result in arrests,” Parit said.

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