Thanyarat Doksone
June 24, 2014

Rights group to Thai junta: release activist

BANGKOK (AP) — A human rights group on Tuesday urged Thailand’s military junta to release an opposition activist who appeared on an army television channel saying her detention was “too good for words to say.”

Kritsuda Khunasen, an activist with the grassroots Red Shirt movement which supported the government ousted in last month’s coup, had been missing since security forces detained her May 28 in Chonburi province, east of Bangkok.

In an effort to prove she was alive and being treated well, the army’s aired several minutes of footage late Monday on an army TV station showing Kritsuda sitting at a table talking about her situation. Her boyfriend, also in detention, was shown with her.

The group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights urged authorities to release Kritsuda immediately and said her whereabouts remain unknown.

Junta spokeman Col. Winthai Suvaree said Kritsuda was detained late last month because she was related to a suspect “allegedly involved with war weapons.” She was released, he said, but then summoned again on June 18 because the junta wanted Kritsuda “to enter the attitude adjustment process and to have more understanding.”

Since taking power, Thailand’s military has made clear it will tolerate no dissent. It has summoned hundreds of people perceived as threats to public order — mostly members of the ousted civilian government, activists and intellectuals.

Most of those who have been released have had to sign pledges saying they will not instigate unrest, a move that has effectively silenced public criticism. The junta was warned those who violate the agreement, or who don’t respond to its summons, will be jailed.

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