Jakrapob Penkair Statement on Junta's Claims - "I have no involvement in any kind of “armed” struggle".
I've just received the following statement from Jakrapob Penkair, the Executive Secretary of Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FT-HD) regarding Thailand's military regime charging him with being involved with the possession of "war weapons" and also revoking his and other pro-democracy leaders' passports. A Thai version of this statement will appear shortly.
"The charges levelled against me today by Thailand’s illegitimate coup regime reveal, once again, the desperation of the Generals and the Establishment they represent. The false claim that I am behind some kind of “armed element” is not only a fiction but yet another example of the injudiciousness of the fraudulent Thai junta.
Let me be clear - there is simply no evidence whatsoever to connect me to the junta’s seizure of arms and I would challenge them to produce such evidence. Of course, even the seizure of said arms has more than a whiff of suspicion about them. There has been no independent investigation regarding these arms’ seizures, no chain of evidence has been preserved and the kind of claims the junta are putting forward are so flimsy they would be washed away very quickly when subject to proper cross-examination.
As for any attempt to “extradite” me on such charges, the junta must know that no government on earth would succumb to their threats and that I would be given full access to any evidence they have concocted and also the platform to challenge such evidence.
For the record, I must state that I have no involvement in any kind of “armed” struggle. I believe fully in a political, social and cultural struggle secured in reality by the democratic will of the Thai people. The Generals and their Establishment masters know very well that if the democratic will of the Thai people is expressed, power will be removed from them and returned to more accountable and legal forms.
It's only two days ago our organisation was being dismissed as “irrelevant” by the junta. Now we face allegations of being behind a regime-concocted "armed struggle" along with attempts to curtail our rights to travel via the revocations of passports. These actions by the junta reveal only one thing - their increasingly obvious insecurity - something which will only grow in the days and weeks to come.
That’s why the only “judicial” vehicle they could use to expedite their false charges would be through their own military-run “courts” where due process and the rule of law have long been abolished in favour of despotism. It must be said that any and all cases coming before the military “courts” exist in the context of a form of jurisprudence that is little more than a theatre of the absurd, such is the lack of any form of legal rights.
At the moment the military and the forces they represent are the only agents engaged in any kind of illegitimate “armed” struggle against the will of the Thai people. Those who believe in democracy have no need to use force of arms as we are fully confident that the moment the franchise is returned to Thais the junta will be little more than an historical aberration.
I should add that the revocation of passports by the junta is not only another grotesque repressive act it also turns any Thai citizen who stands against the military regime into political refugees. Such revocations will further expose to the global community that the junta are little more than petulant tyrants operating far beyond the norms of international law.
We ask our supporters to remain steadfast and not be distressed or disheartened by the junta’s threats and games. The only action the junta have available to themselves is to attempt to crush the hopes and aspirations of ordinary Thais. Yet, with each turn of the repressive screw, the junta just further seal their own fate and will strengthen your resolve to return sovereignty to the Thai people."
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