Thailand must drop charges against child protesters – Amnesty

Thailand must drop charges against child protesters.

Thai authorities should drop charges against child protesters who took part in demonstrations between 2020 and 2022, Amnesty International said today, in the lead-up to tomorrow’s World Children’s Day

Persecution of child protestors in Thailand – intimidation, surveillance, and criminalisation – has been going on for years.

Amnesty has recorded instances of police and government officials monitoring dozens of child protesters, pressurising their families and schools to stop them from joining protests. Police have directly threatened to file charges against them and their parents.

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Katherine Gerson, Thailand campaigner for Amnesty International said…

“Many of the people who took part in these unprecedented mass demonstrations starting in 2020 were children at the time, who felt a need to express themselves about matters affecting their futures.

“Thai authorities must take the opportunity of World Children’s Day to create a safe and enabling environment for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. We urge authorities to let these young people get on with their lives without unwarranted legal cases hanging over them and impeding their economic, educational and professional opportunities.”

Since 2020, close to 300 protesters under the age of 18 have been charged with a range of offences, according to Amnesty, the majority under the Emergency Decree Act that has since been repealed. Thailand must drop charges against children accused of sedition and the dissemination of “false” information. Nearly 200 of these cases are still active.

Thailand must drop charges against child protesters – Amnesty | News by Thaiger
Children are accused of violating a pandemic-related emergency decree that no longer exists.

Gerson said…

“Children are accused of violating a pandemic-related emergency decree that no longer exists. This is nonsensical. Thai authorities should immediately drop all charges and refrain from bringing any additional cases against people, including children, for violating this defunct law.”

Thanakorn Phiraban | Political Prisoners in Thailand
Thanakorn Phiraban faces a maximum sentence of 15 years for taking part in a peaceful protest when he was 17.

On November 22, the Nonthaburi Provincial Juvenile and Family Court will deliver its ruling in the first case of royal defamation involving a child protester named Thanakorn “Petch” Phiraban, an LGBTI+ activist charged after peacefully participating in a protest on 10 September 2020 when 17 years old. Petch faces a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

In the lead-up to the APEC summit, groups of children took to the streets to peacefully express themselves, despite the risks.


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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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