Statement From Thai Students in Europe who are against the coup d’état in Thailand

Statement “For our friends” From Thai Students in Europe who are against the coup d’état

Since the 22nd May 2014 coup d’état, student groups are undeniably one of the leaders in protesting against the coup. They are from various universities, academic disciplines, regions and backgrounds. They may have numerous different political stances, but they come together under one ideal – coups d’etat are illegitimate and must not happen. What the junta, led by Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha, has done was using force to take away from the people their sovereignty and violate a great number of human rights.

The students who protest against the coup have done so constantly and peacefully. They use new, creative ways to protest, using mainstream pop culture and everyday things. They eat sandwich, read 1984, and hold three-finger salute which are symbolical expressions intended to defend and exercise civil and political rights as well as to challenge the derive of power that disconnected from people’s will and support. The movement’s goal, in particular, is the defense of the rights to vote which is the main pillar of political participation in the time of democracy and deteriorated by the atmosphere of fear under the military authoritarian regime. Despite the creative and peaceful ways, however, the students have always been threatened by the Military and the Police. Some are “invited” to the police station until they are familiar faces among the officers.

The latest abuse began on 22nd May 2015, when a group of students gathered at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre to peacefully “look at the clock.” The students were physically injured and arrested by officers who greatly outnumbered them. On the same day, at Khon Kaen Democracy Monument, Dao Din, another group of students peacefully held signs expressing discontent with the coup. They were also detained. They were released, but summons were issued for 16 of them. On 24th June 2015, the students and activists gathered peacefully at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Then they joined Dao Din at Patumwan Police Station, Bangkok, not to surrender, but to confirm their innocence and report the officers’ misconducts on 22nd May that caused bodily harm to student demonstrators. (Those officers consisted of military officers, police officers, and plainclothesmen.) Even though the report was accepted, the military court continued to issue arrest warrants and arrested 14 students on 26th June 2015. They are now in jail, and will be so until 7th July 2015, 12 days after the arrest. After that, they may face military court.

As a part of students in European countries, countries which have seen intense struggles for democracy, we have great respect for the courage of the 14 students. Not only are they a great example of intellects, whose duty is to think, write and express their critical mind, but also they are an example of regular people who assert their rights, sacrificing what little they have under dictatorship. Today, they are imprisoned just because of their peaceful expressions that aren’t in line with what the government wants the people to think. They are treated as though they were criminals. Troops of police surround them whenever tens of them gather. In addition, plainclothesmen follow and put psychological pressure on them constantly. They have shown that dictatorship is afraid of differences, and are always ready to overreact.

As a part of students in European countries, we believe that higher education anywhere in the world has a duty of encouraging their students to think, speak and express what they believe in with reasons. We believe that differences in ideas are normal and necessary. Without arguments, there will be no progress in any discipline, and the society will never move towards democracy. We believe that knowledge, thoughts and truth we hold should not put anyone in a serious bind that these Thai students are facing now. Therefore, we declare the following:

1. The 14 students must be released immediately without condition. They are innocent, and manifest peacefully on their own accord. There is no malicious secret support many groundlessly accuse them of having.
2. We would like to support the “New Democracy Movement” which consists of citizens who support the students, with 5 principles of democracy, justice, people’s involvement, human rights, and peace.
3. We ask international organisations, such as the European Union, the United Nations, and other human rights organisations, to keep a close watch on Thailand’s situation. The threats against the students are threats against thoughts, and are a grave danger to any democratic society.
4. We ask students, professors and citizens who value democracy to support the movements of these students however they can, directly or indirectly. Do not let the demand for democracy become the wrong thing.
Down with dictatorship! Democracy must prevail!

Signatures

Charika Sarisut Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne, France
Chisa Attipornwattana Sciences Po Paris, France
Din Buadaeng Université Paris-Diderot, France
Kheetanat Wannaboworn Sciences Po Paris, France
Mattawan Sutjaritthanarak Sciences Po Paris, France
Pakpoom Sangkanokkul INALCO, France
Prakaidao Phurksakasemsuk Sciences Po Paris, France
Rata Suwantong École Supérieure d’Électricité et Université Paris 11, France
Vijitr Prapong Université Paris Descartes, France
Wipavee Silpitaksakul Sciences Po Paris, France
Chatchavan Wacharamanotham RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Kantanat Papobpanjapach Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Korthong Thongtham Na Ayutthaya Hochschule Wismar, Germany
Lalitta Suriya-Arunroj Georg-August-Universitaet, Goettingen, Germany
Li Saengsanthitam Europa-Universität Viadrina, Germany
Matthana Rodyim Johann wolfgang goethe universität frankfurt am main, Germany
Phornphot Duangmala Universität Heidelberg, Germany
Pirachula Chulanon Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Porntep Sukhonwimonmal Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
Preecha Kiatkirakajorn Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
Puangsoi Aksornsawang The university of the Arts, Bremen, Germany
Sarita Piyawongrungruang Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Sunisa Ittichaiyo University of Augsburg, Germany
Suttiluk Othatawong Physik Institut, Germany
Tammarat Piansawan Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany
Wanchote Jiamjitrak Saarland University, Germany
Watcharaporn Sae-Lim Hochschule Fulda, University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Weeradej Khonsuntia Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
Wittawin Sophakorn Städelschule Architecture Class, Germany
Yuttapichai Lamnaonan University of Applied Science Cologne , Germany
Sukpavee Vesbooncho Ëotvös Lórand University, Hungary
Suluck Lamubol Central European University, Hungary
Asama Mungkornchai University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Benjamas Boonyarit University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Nouvarat Prinpreecha University of Bern, Switzerland
Siwat Chuencharoen University of Bern, Switzerland
Wimolnat Tanganurakpongsa University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Busarin Lertchavalitsakul University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Jiraporn Laocharoenwong University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Nuankhanit Phromchanya University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Thanat Preeyanont Leiden University, the Netherlands
Prachatip Kata University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Akkradet Metprapha Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London, UK
Chan Nilgianskul London Business School, UK
Chanokporn Chutikamoltham SOAS University of London, UK
Eksuda Singhalampong University of Sussex, UK
Great Lekakul SOAS University of London, UK
Isaree Tantasith University of Cambridge, UK
Jiratorn Sakulwattana SOAS, University of London, UK
Kanchana Srisawat Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Kantaporn Worapornrujee Goldsmiths University of London, UK
Kittima Chareeprasert University of Arts London, UK
Koraya Techawongstien SOAS University of London, UK
Krittapak Ngamvaseenont King’s College London, UK
Kulyanee Jongjairaksa SOAS University of London, UK
Mo Jirachaisakul Royal College of Art, London, UK
Nathiya Ngarmkham University of Kent, UK
Orapin Yingyongpathana Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Peeradon Samasiri University of Cambridge, UK
Pimchanok Meesri University of Kent, UK
Ploychompoo Pindhusenee Durham University, UK
Ployjai Pintobtang University of Sussex, UK
Pongpichit Chuanraksasat University of Cambridge, UK
Saijai Tantiwit London School of Economics and Political Sciences, UK
Sirada Khemanitthathai London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Soontree Siriinntawong University of Sussex, UK
Sutida Wimuttikosol King’s College London, UK
Tanut Treetanthiploet University of Cambridge, UK
Teerada Na Jatturas University of Westminster, London, UK
Thanakarn Wongleelaseth University of Kent, UK
Thanawat Silaporn SOAS, University of London, UK
Thongchai Wirojsakseree Bristol University, UK
Tirat Jaraskumjonkul University of Salford, UK
Vipash Purichanont Goldsmith, University of London, UK
Viruth Purichanont Kingston University , UK
Wanrug Suwanwattana University of Oxford, UK
Walaipan Shaiburanawit Vienna University, Austria
Atiwich Patthamapornsirikul University of Zagreb,Croatia
Elia Fofi Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma, Italy
Kulthida Luangyosluechakul Ивановский государственный университет, Russian Federation
Nattapon Sukprasong KULeuven,Belgium
Pimlapas Leekitcharoenphon Techinical University of Denmark
Tossapon Tassanakunlapan Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Soravis Tovivich University of Jyväskylä, Finland

About Thai Students in Europe

"Thai Students in Europe who are against the coup d’état" is a student activist group which was established after the imprisonment of fourteen Thai student activists in June 2015.

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