New large demonstrations despite the ban. Thousands of supporters of the Thai democracy movement have again defied the emergency laws. They demonstrate against the ex-military chief and current prime minister.
New large demonstrations despite the ban
Around 2,000 supporters of the democracy movement in Thailand again defied the recently passed emergency laws on Friday and demonstrated against their government in Bangkok. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has categorically ruled out his resignation: “I will not go,” he said on Friday.
The youth-led pro-democracy protest movement is calling for the government to resign and for an open debate on the role of the monarchy in Thailand. She also criticizes a law that provides up to 15 years imprisonment for lese majesty. The protesters also called for the release of more than 20 activists who had been arrested in the past few days. Among them are several leaders of the protests, including Anon Nampa, who is considered the most important leader of the movement. He is said to have been brought to the northern city of Chiang Mai.
Hundreds of police officers were on duty during the protests and used water cannons against the demonstrators. After a large demonstration on Wednesday, the government banned meetings of more than five people and introduced news censorship. Thousands of people demonstrated on the Ratchaprasong shopping street on Thursday and Friday after the police blocked a space originally intended for this purpose. If the rallies continue, a night curfew will be imposed, the government has now announced.
The subject of lese majesty has long been a taboo in Thailand: The previous King Bhumibol was worshiped like a god until his death in 2016. His son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, is significantly less popular than his father. He lives mainly in Bavaria.
Several military coups have taken place in Thailand’s recent past. Former military chief Prayut emerged victorious and the new prime minister from the most recent coup in 2014 and a parliamentary election overshadowed by accusations of fraud.