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Crop top gathering calls for temporary release of activist

A DOWNTOWN gathering led by a former Amnesty International Thailand committee member this afternoon (Nov. 20) entitled “What’s wrong with wearing a crop top?” called for the release on bail of protest leader Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, who was detained in a Criminal Code Section 112 case, known as the lese majeste law, involving going to a shopping mall so attired, Thai Rath newspaper said.

Ms. Kornkanok Khamta, a former Amnesty International Thailand panel member, wore a crop top to the gathering in front of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre participated by Salaya Student and Workers Union, Rat Drums Group and People’s Artists.

The group voiced their objection to Southern Bangkok Criminal Court to not granting bail to Rung who together with four other defendants Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin,  Ms. Benja Apan, Mr. Phawat Hiranphon and Mr. Panupong Chadnok, or Mike, wore crop tops and to Siam Paragon shopping mall on Dec 20, 2021 with various messages written on the arms and waist including calls to abolish Section 112, monarchical reform as well as some satirical lines.

The highlight of today’s event was a drum performance by the Rat Drums, the shouting of “Release Our Friends” and “Cancel 112” and giving the three-finger salute.

The group issued a statement making the following points:

1) People have the right to wear a crop top when campaigning;

2) Criticism of the government or the monarchy is an exercise of freedom of expression which is a fundamental human right;

3) Freedom of thought and expression of thought must not be controlled nor should this right be curtailed.  People must not be imprisoned in political or ideological cases;

4) The right to criticise, the right to freedom of expression and the right to bail unconditionally belongs to all citizens.


Scenes from today’s gathering calling for Rung’s release on bail. Photos: Thai Rath

Also read: Rung denied bail in crop top Section 112 case

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