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Thailand revokes passports of 2 anti-coup leaders

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 30, 2014 at 5:42 am •  Published: June 30, 2014

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities said Monday they have revoked the passports of six people wanted on arrest warrants, including two who founded an anti-coup movement in exile, as the military junta continues to promote obeisance to its rule.

After taking power by coup in May, the junta has summoned hundreds of people for discussion, interrogation and detention —usually for a maximum of a week. The six are among a handful who defied the summons.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cancelled the Thai passports of ex-Interior Minister Charupong Reuangsuwan and Jakrapob Penkair, once a government spokesman, who formed an opposition group last week, said the ministry's Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow.

The pair set up the Organization of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy on June 24 — the anniversary of the revolution in 1932 that changed Thailand from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional one. The group's potential to get public support is limited as Thailand remains under martial law and acts of dissent are increasingly rare.

The others whose passports were revoked are two suspects in alleged anti-monarchy defamation cases, an ex-lawmaker from the former ruling party and a Red Shirt political group member. The arrest warrant for Charupong and the former parliamentarian also cites their defiance of the summons to meet with the junta. The suspect in one defamation case lives in the UK, and the others are presumed to have fled Thailand and are living overseas.

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