Drop the Lawsuit against Baramee Chaiyarat and other leaders, says AOP

Statement No. 1: Assembly of the Poor (AOP) Supports the 3-point Demand of Free Youth and Calls for the Stop of Lawsuit against Baramee Chaiyarat and other leaders

Thailand is at another political crisis now that the government decides to use legal charges to silence the dissidents, including students, worker leaders, political activists, and grassroots leaders. We, Assembly of the Poor, will no longer tolerate such intimidation.

The government of Prayuth Chan-ocha has always oppressed us. We are forced to leave our land. Our resources, land, water, and forests are grabbed for dam building, special economic zones, etc. The government has never been sincere in solving our issues. Our leaders are under surveillance, threatened, and harassed. We are blocked from raising our voices to demand justice. We are legally abused and unable to access justice. Arrests at nighttime, like in this case, are common.

When the B.E.2560 Constitution was enforced, students, workers, farmers, the poor, and others who know their rights and freedom organized demonstrations to urge the government to solve the chronic problems we are facing. On July 18th, 2020, a demonstration at Democracy Monument in Bangkok was held, led by Free Youth, who issued a 3-point Demand. Mr. Baramee Chaiyarat, General Secretary of Assembly of the Poor, also participated in the demonstration and gave a public speech.

Assembly of the Poor sees that the 3-point Demand of Free Youth is relevant to our position. Our fellows, the poor, have always been intimidated by the state. We also want the dissolution of parliament. We want Members of Parliament and a government elected by the people so that they can solve our problems. We want a new constitution that reflects our slogan “Democracy where People can Eat, Politics where the Poor Matter”

But now Mr. Baramee Chaiyarat, our General Secretary, has been arrested just because he exercised his rightful rights and freedom to peaceful assembly. Arresting him is a violation of the rights and freedoms fundamental to democratic rule.

Assembly of the Poor expresses its support for the Free Youth’s 3-Point Demand. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Baramee Chaiyarat and other arrested leaders and the stop of legal charges against them. We are ready to take action including starting a prolonged demonstration camp in Bangkok if our demands are not met. 

Latest news update:  Baramee and 8 other leaders are out of jail, more news on this issue to follow.

Assembly of the Poor, August 20th, 2020