Two members of The Isaan Record’s citizen reporter network were arrested today while trying to take photos of the atmosphere surrounding the visit of King Rama X to Ubon.
At about 4:45 p.m. today (April 30, 2022) in Ubon Ratchathani, two citizen journalists were arrested and detained by more than 15 undercover police. “Nat” and “Cake” (their nicknames) were on a special assignment for The Isaan Record and had been asked to take photos of the atmosphere in the city during King Rama X’s visit.
While taking photos at the intersection of the Juvenile and Family Court where a number of people were waiting for the royal motorcade to pass. Nat said in a phone interview that when he asked the people present there, “May I sit here?”, about 15 plainclothes police officers swarmed around the two journalists and they were immediately taken into custody and transported to Warin Chamrap police station.
The two were not told what they were being arrested for. While waiting for a lawyer to arrive, Nat told The Isaan Record that the police said they were “waiting for a group of government officials who claimed they had been damaged” by the reporters taking photos. The police, Nat said, that if the group did not press charges, they would be released. “But if they feel they got hurt,” the police told him, the two “will be prosecuted.”
About 15 undercover police officers surrounded them before they got arrested.
At present, a lawyer from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Centre is engaged in coordinating help for the two detainees.
After the two journalists had been removed from the scene, His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen performed a ceremony at 5 p.m. before a large crowd at an important temple in the city. The royal couple raised the crown over the principal Buddha image at the Viharn Phra Chao Yai In Plaeng, Maha Wanaram Temple (Phra Aram Luang).
The Isaan Record is currently unable to provide any photos of the event and is able to only show photos of its journalists being arrested.