A 46-year-old street vendor has been arrested on charges relating to the 2010 protests for a second time, despite winning an appeal against similar charges in February of this year.
The woman, named Punika Choosri, was located and arrested by the Department of Special Investigation who allege that she had shot and injured soldiers during protests in 2010 by the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), also known as the red shirts.
Punika, who has been donating 50 boxes of food every day from her stall to help people struggling from the impact of coronavirus, had just been acquitted by the appeal court in February following her arrest in September 2014.
The first arrest was made on allegations that she was one of a group of people called the “men in black” that had committed several acts of violence during the 2010 protests including murder.
She was acquitted by the lower court in January 2017 and held in prison for three years until her appeal was heard and she was eventually granted her freedom in February 2020.
Now, just three months later a new charge had been levied at the food vendor, this time based on claims she was at Tanao Road when a soldier was shot in the buttocks in 2010.
Her lawyer, Winyat Chatmontree from the United Lawyers for Rights and Liberty, says that Punika was selling food at Ratchaprasong six kilometers away at the time and there is no evidence she was at the scene.
Punika is currently awaiting trial for the new charges which could take many years as shown in her previous case.
The 2010 protests were thrust into the spotlight again recently when messages, claimed to have been sent from the disbanded Future Forward Party, were projected onto buildings at key locations relevant to the protests.
The messages led to the hashtag “#ตามหาความจริง” (“finding/seeking the truth”) trending on Twitter.