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Thailand’s Attorney General calls for leniency towards charity food providers

Maya Taylor

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Thai Residents

Thailand’s Attorney General is urging prosecutors to go easy on the good samaritans who face charges of violating the current ban on social gatherings. The current restrictions, in place under the Covid-19 emergency decree, have led to many Thai citizens losing their income and relying on charity food handouts. Now many of those providing free food and other essentials, face criminal proceedings for causing large groups of people to gather in public without adequate social distancing measures being put in place.

Khaosod English reports that Prayut Petchkhun, spokesman for the Attorney General, says prosecutors must consider the circumstances of the alleged violations and exercise good judgment when instigating criminal charges.

“Public prosecutors should use their discretion when considering the evidence and circumstances of the case. Charges should be filed in accordance with the spirit of the law.”

He goes on to add that the agency’s civil rights protection office is willing to provide legal assistance to those who need it, while ensuring the restrictions and legal requirements under the emergency decree are understood.

Under the emergency decree introduced by the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, now extended for another month , charity events are included in the ban on social gathering and such events require special permission prior to taking place.

A Bangkok woman was arrested last week after a fight broke out while she was handing out food at the city’s Hualamphong train station and a cash giveaway in Chonburi was cancelled when hundreds of desperate residents showed up.

If you are organising any food handouts please consult your local police who have been extremely helpful in helping to co-ordinate crowds and avoiding any problems that could emerge. And THANK YOU for your generosity and determination to help people suffering at this time.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

 

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