BANGKOK, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Deposed Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra, former cabinet ministers and protest leaders are currently being detained at army-controlled "safehouses" for about a week, announced the army on Saturday.
Deputy army spokesman Col Vinthai Suvari said Yingluck and the other detainees have been safe and will remain under army custody for about a week after they had been questioned and briefed by the National Peacekeeping Council following Thursday's military coup which ousted the elected caretaker government.
About 150 persons have been detained by the military at varied, undisclosed "safehouses," including former Premier Somchai Wongsawat and his spouse, Yaowapa, who is Yingluck's elder sister, former deputy Premier Nivatthamrong Boonsongpaisal, former Labor Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, Pheu Thai (for Thais) Party Secretary General Pumtham Vejjachai, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit, anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, pro- government Red Shirt leaders Nattavut Saikua and Chatuporn Prompand.
"Those detainees who were believed to have been connected with street unrests, either directly or indirectly, have been provided safe lodging. They would be detained for no longer than a week. Some might probably be released in a few days' time," said Col Vinthai.
The deputy army spokesman declined to say how much longer the former lady leader might be detained since Friday. Yingluck had been summoned for investigation at the army auditorium for about 15 minutes before she was brought for detention at the First Infantry Division base from across the street at the heart of the Thai capital.
The others detainees have been brought to varied "safehouses," mostly located inside army barracks, sources said.
Meanwhile, Col Vinthai said 35 more people have been summoned for questioning and briefing at the army auditorium on Saturday. That was in addition to those 150 politicians and protest leaders who have already been questioned and detained by the military.
Those currently summoned include de facto Chart Pattana Party leader Suvat Liptapallop, Bhum Jai Thai Party leader Anuthin Charnverakul, Pheu Thai faction head Somsak Thepsuthin, Thammasat University history lecturer Somsak Jiamthirasakul, Thammasat law lecturer Vorajate Pakheerat and former anti-government Yellow Shirt leader Sonthi Limthongkul.
Failing to comply to the military orders, those summoned will be subject to a maximum of two years in jail or a maximum of 40, 000 baht (about 1,237 U.S. dollars) in fine or both, according to the deputy army spokesman.
Col Vinthai said the military will not use force against groups of people who might be taking to the street anywhere throughout the country to protest against the coup. Instead, he said, they will be talked into stopping their protests and peacefully dispersing.
"Those protesters are suggested to realize that the military have put the situation under control while the country is currently under martial rule," he said.
He added that 21 men were arrested on Friday with hidden explosives, gas tanks and war weapons in Khon Kaen.
The National Peace and Order Maintaining Council, headed by army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha who had declared martial rule on Tuesday, has completely seized executive powers by ordering all government officials ranging from ministerial undersecretaries to department heads and working-level personnel to come under direct command of the coup junta, including supreme commander Gen. Thanasak Patimaprakorn who takes charge of national security affairs, navy chief Adm Narong Pipatayasai in charge of socio- psychological affairs, air force chief ACM Prajin Juntong in charge of economic affairs, assistant army chief Gen Paibul Khumchaya in charge of laws and judicial process and police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew in charge of special affairs.
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