Thai activist protests with paint after arrest over rallies

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A student demonstrator doused herself in paint and vowed no letup in her fight against Thailand government on Tuesday, after joining more than a dozen other political activists arrested recently for organising protests.

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Jutatip Sirikhan, 21, the president of the Student Union of Thailand, poured white paint over herself in front of a court in Bangkok after being released on bail, in a symbolic gesture of defiance against the government of former junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha.

“White paint is a color of justice and students are being harassed by the government,” Jutatip said as she prepared to cover herself in paint.

“The paint can be washed off but injustice cannot,” she said.

Jutatip was earlier arrested by a plain-clothes police officer while in a taxi traveling to a university, a video shot by Jutatip and posted on her personal Facebook page showed.

The officer identified himself as a policemen in the video before citing a court arrest warrant.

Jutatip has been charged with breaching internal security and coronavirus regulations that banned public gatherings, among other charges, she said.

Student groups have rallied almost daily across the country since July 18, calling for a new constitution and an end to the military’s influence over politics, after a disputed election last year kept 2014 coup leader Prayuth as prime minister.

Some protesters have also called for reform on the monarchy, until recently a taboo subject in Thailand, which has strict punishments for preceived royal insults.

Among those arrested over protests are student leaders, rappers and activists and all have so far been released on bail.

Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Ed Davies and Martin Petty