Thailand: Rally chiefs hear royal insult charge

  • Five anti-government protesters reported to Chana Songkhram police on 30 Nov 20 to hear a lese majeste charge brought under Section 112 of the Criminal Code over a mass rally at Sanam Luang on 19 to 20 Sep 20.
  • Arnon Nampha, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, Panupong “Mike” Chadnok, and Patiwat Saraiyaem alias “Molam Bank” were accompanied by two counsels from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Krisdang Nutcharat and Noraseth Nanongtoom.
  • Mr Arnon said on 30 Nov 20 he was not worried about the charge and was ready to fight it in court. “It is now time for us to speak straightforwardly about the royal institution. Even if what we say goes unheard and laws are used to shut our mouths, we will continue to fight,” he said. Mr Arnon believes the protests would intensify in 2021.
  • Ms Panusaya said the People’s Movement’s proposal for the reform of the royal institution was truly aimed at attaining reform, not its abolition. Although Section 112 has been revived to deal with the protests, it would not deter the movement, she said.
  • Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said the anti-government protest outside the 11th Infantry Regiment in Bang Khen district was in violation of the public assembly law. He said the protesters would also face other charges such as damaging public property as they vandalised police cars and fences of a public park under City Hall’s supervision.
  • Separately, Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich insisted the coup rumours were totally baseless and urged all sides not to spread them to avoid causing public confusion.

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