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Pro-democracy activists rally against corrupt police promotion system

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PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The pro-democracy group, Ratsadon, held a rally in Bangkok yesterday, this time with their sights set on Thailand’s police force and the corrupt practices involved in promotion. The system in which officers have to pay bribes to senior figures, allegedly including senior politicians, was highlighted in a debate in parliament last week.

Activists met at the Ratchaprasong intersection in the capital at around 5pm and stayed there for an hour, according to a Thai PBS World report. However, most of the speakers were unknown faces, with more prominent leaders, such as Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul, aka, “Rung”, and Mike Rayong notably absent. Those who addressed the crowd called on “honest” officers to join them in the fight for justice, as they slammed the widespread nepotism and corruption that is allegedly rife in the police force.

Protesters then marched to the nearby headquarters of the Royal Thai Police and sat on the street outside while speeches continued. At one point, an activist read out a letter which the group says was written by a police officer and addressed to his colleagues. In it, the officer calls on his colleagues to decide if they are serving the people or those in power, and asks them if they think they’ve been fairly treated by their bosses or used for political purposes. After the reading, rally participants were given copies of the letter.

The protest dispersed peacefully around 8.30pm, with organisers saying another rally is planned for today. Activists are being asked to wear black and will gather in front of the Criminal Court in a symbolic show of mourning for the country’s justice system. The “mourning” will last for 112 minutes, to protest Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, also known as the lèse majesté law. Participants will also call for the release of 4 detained protest leaders, Parit Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Somyos Prueksakasemsook, and Patiwat Saraiyaem.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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