Four police officers burst into the Progressive Movement offices yesterday afternoon with a search warrant, interrupting a press conference called by Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, the political movement’s co-founder.

The police from Makkasan station walked into the press conference room at the Thai Summit building, armed with the search warrant issued under the state of emergency. Mr Piyabutr was at the podium speaking against the state of emergency and legal action being taken against protesters accused of causing harm to Her Majesty the Queen.

“I am here to check on law and order within my jurisdiction,” one police officer said. The search at the Progressive Movement premises was the first against government opponents since the emergency decree was issued at 4am on Thursday.

The police officer walked out of the press conference room, and then returned to talk to Mr Piyabutr, who urged him and the other officers to support the people, instead of following orders from their superiors.

Police also arrested anti-government activist Ekkachai Hongkangwan yesterday. Mr Ekkachai, 43, was taken into custody on Lat Phrao Road near the Imperial Lat Phrao store and escorted to Lat Phrao police station. He was charged under Section 110 of the Criminal Code with causing harm to Her Majesty the Queen’s liberty when the motorcade of Her Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti travelled past demonstrators outside Government House on Wednesday afternoon.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Another demonstrator, Bunkueanun Paothong, faces the same charge.

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