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Amnesty International says drop the charges pressed on protesters

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO Prachatai

“This recent slew of arrests of peaceful demonstrators illustrates the authorities’ intensifying crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly.”

Amnesty International is calling on the Thai government to drop the charges pressed on pro-democracy activists. So far 31 activists have been arrested on charges relating to their involvement in the July 18 rally at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument.

Many leaders of the July 18 rally have been charged with violating the emergency decree’s orders which banned large public gatherings in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Around 1,000 people attended the rally calling on the end to the military-run government and demanding a new constitution. The rally sparked a series of other pro-democracy protests.

The organisation released a statement saying the arrests violate freedom of expression. They are also asking other supports to send letters PM Prayut Chan-o-cha asking for the charges to be dropped.

“This recent slew of arrests of peaceful demonstrators illustrates the authorities’ intensifying crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly.”

Rights lawyer Arnon Nampa and university academic Panupong Jadnok were recently arrested and are still in custody after the Criminal Court revoked their bail.

Another rally is planned for September 19. Arnon made a post on Facebook urging people to attend.

“Let my detention be a ‘receipt’ of intimidation against people.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Michael Lewis

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 10:42 am

    The credibility of Amnesty International needs to be re-assessed. There is no government ‘crackdown’ on freedom of expression. There are laws in place limiting the number of people in an assembly to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and these laws are typical of those in many other countries. The protesters broke the law and must face to consequences. Nobody has prevented these student protesters from using social media to voice their opinions. These child students need to grow up and behave like adults. There are many political factions in Thailand and the student faction is just a small entity compared to the sleeping red shirt peril. This government is guarding the nation against the possible return of the red shirt style dictatorship and from the leeches that syphon off billions of the nations wealth, be thankfull of that.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    The government have had one case of a contagious person in a 100 days, yet they continue to ban assembly, especially assembly of protesters.
    Why? Because they want a law to ban protests.
    Having these emergency powers also allows them to ban elections.
    There is a government crackdown on freedom of expression.
    There is a government crackdown on any matter that threatens their position and power.
    And it is all justified by this fraudulent rotten corrupt excuse that it is to prevent death from a virus, a virus that has such a low danger rate that in the whole world it has only killed 888,000.
    99 percent of persons that catch this virus recover or suffer no ill effects.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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