Hundreds of protesters have gathered in the Thai capital to demand the release of arrested activists demanding political reforms.
Hundreds of protesters rallied in the Thai capital, Bangkok, on Thursday to demand the release of arrested activists. The urgent measures taken earlier to quell the pro-democracy movement were ignored.
Since mid-July, Thailand has imposed “serious” emergency measures, banning more than five people from gathering to prevent youth-led demonstrations that have rocked the country.
“Release our friends!” They muttered as they blocked off the main Bangkok intersection, which was watched by hundreds of riot police. Many raised a three-fingered salute as a symbol of the growing movement.
Protesters’ main demands:
- Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha resigns
- Parliament was dissolved and new elections were held
- The constitution drafted by the military should be rewritten
- The end of intimidating rebels
- Reform of the monarchy – the king is widely respected, criticizing him is punishable by up to 15 years in prison
Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidelberg reports from Bangkok that more than a thousand people have gathered peacefully in a high-rise shopping district in central Bangkok.
“People are coming out this afternoon in this shopping district, and it’s over [ban] Order, ”Heideller added.
“There is no indication that the protest will turn violent at any time,” the protest leaders said.
After the emergency measures announced by the government and the police moved to disperse the demonstrators stayed out all night, House, 22 activists have been arrested.
The meeting came the day after an anti-government rally, a day after thousands of people rallied to call for monarchy reform.
Widely shared videos on social media show the Royals’ yellow car being guarded by police as they walk through a crowd holding up arms in a three-fingered salute.
It is imperative that immediate action be taken to end this situation effectively and expeditiously to maintain peace and order, ”state television said.
The announcement is accompanied by a document banning large gatherings from 4am local time (21:00 GMT) and allowing people to enter any area they designate.
The emergency order authorizes authorities to arrest protesters without warrants and to seize “electronic communication equipment, data and weapons” suspected of being linked to the move.
Online messages that “threaten national security” are also banned.
Fear of arrests
Campaign group Amnesty International said the crackdown was unjustified and would create fear.
“This vague, strict order will lead to more people being unjustly arrested, detained and tried,” Amnesty’s Ming Yu Ha said in a statement.
Police said they had arrested the protest leaders nampayeyum Paris “Penguin” civarakkineyum arnean rights advocate. Arnon wrote on Facebook that he was being forced to board a helicopter to the northern city of Chiang Mai. He was charged with treason in a speech in August.
Later, pictures on social media showed student leader Panusaya “Rang” pushing Sitijiravattanakul in a wheelchair and saluting him with three fingers.
“We have not yet been able to restore a true democracy,” said Sun Pathong, 54, an expert on anti – institutional protests and anti – agitations for a decade before the 2014 coup.
“I will come now. We must continue to fight even if our lives are in danger.”
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