Pro-democracy activists gathered in Bangkok yesterday, demanding an end to Thailand’s strict lèse majesté law. The law, officially section 112 of the Criminal Code, prohibits criticising, defaming, or otherwise insulting the monarchy. The authorities have used the law on numerous occasions to levy charges against anti-government protesters, many of whom are now behind bars.
Thai PBS World reports that yesterday’s rally took place in the Bangkok shopping district of Ratchaprasong. Participants included the pro-democracy Ratsadon group, protest movement Talufah, and LGBT groups. They called for the controversial lèse majesté law to be abolished and for their fellow activists to be released from detention. They include human rights lawyer, Anon Nampa, and protest leaders Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin”, and Panupong Jadnok, otherwise known as “Mike Rayong”.
Activists collected 10,000 signatures in favour of the law being abolished and it’s understood the petition will be submitted to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha today. Protesters also placed paintings and protest messages in front of the Central World shopping centre, while speakers addressed the crowd and used the opportunity to lambast the PM and his administration and the lèse majesté law.
Prior to the rally kicking off at 4pm, organisers came to an arrangement with police, whereby they agreed not to march to the Royal Police Office nearby, provided officers did not force protesters to disperse. The rally was temporarily interrupted by heavy rain around 5pm before resuming and ending peacefully around 8.30pm.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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