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Police threaten jail time for anyone taking selfies at protests

Maya Taylor

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Police threaten jail time for anyone taking selfies at protests | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times
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The State of Emergency recently imposed on Bangkok amid escalating political unrest carries some sweeping powers, some of them rather creative. According to a report in Coconuts, police are warning that anyone taking a selfie at anti-government protests is risking 2 years in jail and a fine of up to 40,000 baht. You’d have to really want that photo…

The emergency decree is being invoked in everything, from the arrests of protesters and their leaders, to the threat of restrictions being slapped on media outlets whose reporting is deemed unfavourable.

“We are under the severe state of emergency, which is a special law. We must hold this law seriously. Everything we do is under international standards.”

Meanwhile, the latest clampdown has led to the arrest (and subsequent temporary release) of one doctor and the firing of another. After riot police in Bangkok used water cannons laced with chemicals to disperse a protest on Friday, around 400 Thai doctors called on officials to refrain from using such irritants against activists.

Jarosdao Rimpanichkit, a doctor at Bangkok’s Mongkutwattana General Hospital, was promptly fired for having put his name to the letter. In a statement, the director of the military hospital, General Rientong Nanna, says the facility could not support employees who are, “allied with the king’s enemies.”

Meanwhile, another doctor, Tossaporn Serirak, has been released on bail after being arrested for violating the emergency decree. Tossaporn has become something of a hero figure to pro-democracy activists, after he began offering medical assistance at rallies and criticising officials for the tactics used against peaceful protesters.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fabian

    October 20, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    I heared this news two days ago. That was the day when the biggest protests so far all over the country took place. The government is just making more people angry. With every new measure of censorship Prayut is digging his own hole a little bigger.

    • Avatar

      RA

      October 20, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      When you find yourself in a hole that you can’t get out of the first thing to do is to quit digging.

  2. Avatar

    Political Observer

    October 20, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    “Everything we do is under international standards.” Yes, the repression of freedom and democracy is up to Chinese standards.

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Thailand

Thai netizens say pro-government royalists carried out Wednesday’s protest shootings

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Thai netizens say pro-government royalists carried out Wednesday’s protest shootings | The Thaiger
Thailand’s netizens are refuting police’s claims that pro-democracy protesters carried out Wednesday’s rally shootings. The shootings occurred at the rally site near Bangkok’s Siam Commerical Bank head office, where the rally site was originally planned but was then moved after protesters tried to avoid a clash with pro-government royalists. However, shots were fired, with police arresting a suspect on charges of attempted murder, shooting in public without reason, and carrying a firearm in public.

The netizens found footage of the scene, in which they say they identified the faces of the offenders. The revelation came after Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Piya Tawichai blamed Ratsadon guards for the shootings and injuries.

Meanwhile, the pro-democracy leaders have been called into questionby donors to the movement, as they have criticised how the leaders have used the donations, when a guard was shot and injured. Netizens took to social media to ask what “fairy godmother” Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn were buying with the donation money with some online comments mentioning the display of yellow ducks and props as a poor use of donation funds. Some criticisers pointed towards using the donations to buy protective gear for protesters after the shootings occurred, prompting the 2 leaders to issue a statement that they would now use such funds for the injured guards.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Thai protests to continue in full force into December in line with symbolic calendar events

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Thai protests to continue in full force into December in line with symbolic calendar events | The Thaiger

The pro-democracy protests are set to continue well into December, according to Thai security officials. Officials have been preparing to cope with a rise in anti-government activities as symbolic calendar events are coming up. Today the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group says a protest will take place outside the 1st Infantry Battalion on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Phaya Thai District, giving credit to the predictions that there will no end in sight to the protests.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a secretary to PM’s Office Minister Anucha Nakasai, made the announcement yesterday in light of the Constitutional Court being set to pass a ruling this Wednesday on whether PM Prayut is guilty of occupying a house that is meant for military officials.

Prayut is accused by the opposition of engaging in the conflict of interest by occupying the army residence. Such a move should have ended with his army chief tenure in 2014, according to critics.

Following the upcoming ruling on Wednesday, the symbolic calendar event of Constitution Day falls on December 10, a day which will ignite more protests as one of the main demands of pro-democracy demonstrators is to have a new Thai charter, along with the resignation of Prayut and reform of the Thai monarchy.

But despite the anticipated rise in rallies, security officials have ruled out the possibility of a military coup. Critics remain sceptical as many demonstrators claim the government has put police on the front lines of the protests, dressed in yellow shirts, in an attempt to spark a clash to pave the way for a coup. The current PM, when he was the head of the Thai Army in 2014, also said there would be “no coup” against the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government. A month later the NCPO led a bloodless coup and installed Prayut Chan-o-cha as the interim prime minister.

Piya Tawichai, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, says protesters yesterday gathered near the Imperial World Samrong shopping mall in Samut Prakan before marching to the Bang Na intersection to rally, partially blocking the road. According to Kissana Phathanacharoen, the deputy spokesman for the national police, the protesters did not obtain permission for staging the rally.

Some protesters also reportedly spray-painted traffic police kiosks with messages that criticised the police for “ditching the people,” and smashed kiosk windows. Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a protest leader, posted on Facebook yesterday that she has been summoned for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, which bans anyone from criticising the King which states:

“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.”

Rung says she believes the summons is linked to the September 10 anti-government rally.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Pro-democracy rally leaders questioned over usage of donated funds after injuries

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Pro-democracy rally leaders questioned over usage of donated funds after injuries | The Thaiger

Pro-democracy rally leaders are being questioned by followers over the usage of donation funds after a volunteer protest guard was shot and injured. Netizens took to social media to ask what “fairy godmother” Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn were buying with the donation money, prompting them to make an announcement on Thursday.

The announcement came after the rally on Wednesday at the Siam Commercial Bank HG, in which the “magic team” as dubbed by the leaders themselves, said they would channel all their efforts into taking care of injured protesters from December 2 onwards. Such criticisms of how Inthira and Pakorn were spending the donations have been trending on social media for days with questions such as the ones seen below.

“Guards on the frontline have no protective gear, yet 20,000 baht was spent on an army of inflatable aliens.”

But the pair of leaders say it was not possible to provide bulletproof vests or anti-riot shields because these were controlled items, and instead they say they bought safety helmets with donors’ money. As for the yellow duck props, they say they were donated and the duo spent their own money on matching duck accessories. When asked for a detailed list of how the donations were spent, however, the pair said “it would be too complicated” to explain.

Inthira says an accountant would have to be hired to detail the way in which the donations were used. But she added that she would return the money to donors who were unhappy with how their money was being spent. Furthermore, she says the donors should remain anonymous.

“Just show me a copy of the transfer and I will return your donation.”

Despite the criticisms, Friday’s protest at Bangkok’s Lat Phrao intersection still featured the yellow ducks with Pakorn and Inthira gracing the scene with big smiles. Pakorn took to social media later announcing the return of donations.

“Mine and Sine’s bank accounts are now flooded with donations.”

Inthira also speculated that maybe the donors don’t want them, dubbed “the fairy godparents,” to fade from the scene.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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