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Election

Security tight ahead of Thai Raksa Chart verdict

The Thaiger

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Security tight ahead of Thai Raksa Chart verdict | The Thaiger
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Security is tight this morning in and around the Constitutional Court building as the court is due to deliver its verdict on the fate of the pro-Thaksin Thai Raksa Chart party.

Four sniffer dogs, special-forces police and a bomb disposal team thoroughly searched the area of the court building for firearms and explosives.

The number of surveillance cameras has been increased from the usual 20 to about 100. 1,500 policemen from different units, including crowd control teams have been deployed at the court for today’s announcement.

Thai PBS reports that four huge TV screens and a PA system have been installed on the second floor of the court building so that members of the media, party supporters and members of the public can watch the court proceedings.

Most key members and the executive board of the Thai Raksa Chart party are expected to converge on the court tomorrow to hear the verdict, which is scheduled to be read at about 3pm.

The Thai Raksa Chart party, an off-shoot of the Pheu Thai party, was accused of committing a hostile act against the constitutional democratic system by the Election Commission for its nomination of Princess Ubolratana, a member of the Royal Family, as its sole prime ministerial candidate. A subsequent intervention by HM the King indicated that the Princess’s nomination was highly inappropriate.

If the Constitutional Court finds Thai Raksa Chart guilty, the party will be disbanded and all 14 executive board members may be banished from politics for up to 10 years and the party’s electoral candidates disqualified from contesting the March 24 general election.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Protests

One more person faces possible life sentence for alleged acts during royal motorcade

Caitlin Ashworth

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One more person faces possible life sentence for alleged acts during royal motorcade | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter: @SAHINOP

Police have issued an additional arrest warrant for a protester who allegedly attempted to “harm the HM the Queen’s liberty” during a royal motorcade last week. The motorcade happened to be on the same day and same route as a pro-democracy protest in Bangkok. So far, 3 protesters face charges for an alleged “act of violence against the HM the Queen’s liberty” and could face up to life in prison if found guilty.

Suranat Paenprasert, a coordinator for Active Youth, now faces charges of 16 to 20 years in prison, or even up to life in prison, for allegedly violating Section 110 of Thailand’s Criminal Code which prohibits acts of violence against the HM the Queen or Her liberty.

Section 110: Violence against the Queen

Whoever commits an act of violence against the Queen or Her liberty, the Heir-apparent or His liberty, or the Regent or his/her liberty, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment of sixteen to twenty years.

2 other protesters, Ekkachai Hongkangwan and Boonkueanoon Paothong, also face the same charges of alleged “violence against the Queen’s liberty” during the royal motorcade. The New York Times reports the “act of violence” was apparently yelling at the royal motorcade. In photos, crowds of protesters were seen on the royal motorcade route holding their hands up in the 3-finger salute, a symbol of defiance.

Many of the protesters were also shouting “our taxes”, in Thai, at the occupants of the yellow Rolls Royce.

Ekkachai and Boonkueanoon may also face charges under Thailand’s lèse majesté law under Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, according to an earlier report from the Bangkok Post. If found guilty, the additional charge would make their punishment more severe.

Section 112: Insulting or Defaming the Royal Family

Whoever, defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | New York Times

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Protests

Criminal Court reverses decision to close down some Thai media

Caitlin Ashworth

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Criminal Court reverses decision to close down some Thai media | The Thaiger

Today was a win for Thai media companies after some authorities had attempted to close them down amid the current pro-democracy protests. The court initially ruled to suspend Voice TV for allegedly violating State of Emergency orders, but today the court reversed the ruling, saying Thailand’s Constitution does not give the court power to shutdown the media platforms.

Along with reversing the ruling on Voice TV, the court also dismissed a request to suspend 3 other Thai news outlets covering the protests and to block the activist-run Free Youth Facebook page, according to The Standard.

The National Police Chief had recently requested authorities suspend the news outlets – The Standard, Prachatai, Voice TV and The Reporters – for allegedly violating government orders by spreading content that was a “threat to national security.”

The Standard posted on its Facebook page today saying the news channels have the freedom of press under Section 36 of Thailand’s Constitution.

Section 36: A person shall enjoy the liberty of communication by lawful means. Censorship, detention or disclosure of communication between persons including any other act which discloses the content of a communication between persons shall not be made except by virtue of law specifically enacted for security of the State or maintaining public order or good morals.

Voice TV also posted on Facebook announcing they will continue to operate as normal.

“The court lifted the petition because it saw that the constitution protects the freedom of public communication and press.”

Digital Economy and Society Ministry spokesperson said in a previous report that Voice TV had violated the Computer Crime Act by spreading “false information.” Voice TV says they are doing a professional duty and do not report distorted or misleading information.

BREAKING: ศาลอาญายกคำร้องดีอีเอสสั่งปิดแพลตฟอร์มออนไลน์ Voice TV ยืนยันในเสรีภาพสื่อและเสรีภาพประชาชน…

Posted by THE STANDARD on Wednesday, 21 October 2020

ด่วน!!! ศาลสั่งยกคำร้องปิด ‘วอยซ์ ทีวี’ เหตุสื่อมีเสรีภาพตามรัฐธรรมนูญ อีกทั้ง พ.ร.บ.คอมฯ…

Posted by Voice TV on Wednesday, 21 October 2020

SOURCES: The Standard| Voice TV

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Politics

Former Pheu Thai chair to challenge legality of State of Emergency

Maya Taylor

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Former Pheu Thai chair to challenge legality of State of Emergency | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Thai politician and former chair of the Pheu Thai Party, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, has confirmed she plans to challenge the legality of the state of emergency in court. She joins a number of opposition MPs and other activists who are petitioning to have the order lifted. Bangkok awoke to a state of emergency declared by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha in the early hours of last Thursday, amid growing political unrest.

Posting on her Facebook page, Sudarat points to the PM himself, who she describes as, “the source of the problem”. She says the current political protests are a result of him using a military coup to take control from the people, and then drafting a charter that supported the transfer of power to Thailand’s military.

“Other politicians and I have followed the situation with concern and tried to prevent the government from applying their power. We had a discussion yesterday and agreed that we should use the right in the court to protect the protesters.”

Two MPs from the Pheu Thai Party have also expressed their intention to sue the PM for having invoked the emergency order. Cholnan Srikaew and Jirayu Houngsub are calling on the Civil Court to rescind the state of emergency and guarantee the protection of anti-government activists.

Nation Thailand reports that former judge, Kasem Suphasit, and former Democrat MP, Watchara Petchthong, have also confirmed they are taking legal action against the PM, claiming the implementation of the state of emergency is unlawful.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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