The top police spokesman today denied that officers threatened a kindergarten student in Yasothon province after she flashed three fingers in symbolic defiance of the government.
After video emerged of officials visiting the home of the 6-year-old girl whose Hunger Games-inspired salute went viral online, police spokesman Col. Krissana Pattanacharoen said Monday that none of the people involved was a police officer but rather all were “concerned” teachers who wanted to talk to her parents.
His denial came after the parents of the girl, identified only as Om Yim, upbraided the authorities for dispatching officers to “threaten” them at their home.
“In the latest, the authorities are looking for Om Yim for raising three fingers,” they wrote in a caption to the footage they uploaded Friday. “Just a kindergarten kid raising three fingers, you need to send somebody to come to threaten us?”
That came after their photo of Om Yim’s salute went viral and drew admiration from the pro-democracy faction, who praised her for expressing opposition to the military-dominated government.
On the other side, government transparency activist and serial complaint filer Srisuwan Janya condemned the protest movement for “using children as a political tool.” According to Srisuwan, they violated the Child Protection Act and Computer Crime Act.
Ongoing anti-government protests expanded last week to erupt at primary and secondary schools, where students have donned white ribbons and raised defiant gestures. Teachers, admins and police have been criticized for heavy-handed responses to the shows of dissent by forcibly removing ribbons and threatening students with punishment.
This article, Police deny threatening kindergartner over three-finger salute, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!