Thailand: Pro-democracy groups vow to intensify protests as leaders charged

  • Thai pro-democracy groups have vowed to intensify their protests calling for monarchy reform and a new Constitution, a day after a Bangkok court sent four of their leaders into pre-trial detention on royal defamation charges.
  • Thousands of demonstrators gathered on 10 Feb 21 in central Bangkok for a second day to demand the immediate release of leaders, and to protest the government’s “inaction” towards their demands.
  • A court on 9 Feb 21 denied bail to lawyer Arnon Nampa, student leader Parit Chiwarak and two others accused of breaking Thailand’s lese majeste law. The detained leaders are among activists who have spearheaded a movement that has broken long-held taboos about publicly discussing and questioning the country’s monarchy, which sits at the apex of power in Thailand.
  • Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, one of the key protest leaders announced the plan including the goal of two million protesters a day after a Bangkok court sent four of their leaders into pretrial detention on royal defamation charges. They have not been released and have been denied bail. She asked her supporters to keep a close watch on the censure debate scheduled from 16-19 Feb 21.
  • More frequent protests will pile pressure on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government, which is facing a no-confidence vote next week and battling a slump in the trade- and tourism-reliant economy.
  • While political analysts expect the authorities to charge more activists in the coming days under the lese majeste act to weaken the protest movement, MrPrayut has said the government is merely enforcing existing laws.

External Link :