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Amnesty International campaign urges PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to drop charges pressed on protesters

Caitlin Ashworth

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The human rights group Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to drop charges pressed on a number of activists for their role in the pro-democracy movement and to repeal, or at least amend, Thailand’s draconian lèse majesté law which carries a punishment of 3 to 15 years in prison for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

According to the campaign, at least 220 people, including minors, face criminal charges for relating to their actions in the pro-democracy movement. Activists are calling on government and monarchy reform, raising issues considered taboo and unprecedented in Thai society.

At least 32 demonstrators, including protest leaders, face lèse majesté charges under Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code for speeches or actions at recent pro-democracy rallies, according to Amnesty International.

Thailand must amend or repeal the repressive laws it is using to suppress peaceful assembly and the expression of critical and dissenting opinions.

Amnesty International is calling on people to take action and send a letter to the prime minister, calling on the Thai government to change their approach when handing the ongoing protests to protect human rights.

Sample letter by the human rights campaign calls on Prayut to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally drop all criminal proceedings against protesters and others charged solely for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression
  • Cease all other measures, including harassment, aimed at dissuading public participation in peaceful gatherings or silencing voices critical of the government and social issues
  • Amend or repeal legislation in order to ensure it conforms with Thailand’s international human rights obligations on freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, and to train state officials to carry out their duties confirming to Thailand’s obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

SOURCE: Amnesty International

 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Slugger

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Mind your own business Amnesty. These arent ‘peaceful protestors.’

    • Avatar

      patty

      Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 10:29 am

      How are they not peaceful?

  2. Avatar

    Robert Elliot

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    It is there business do some research. How are that not peaceful in any democratic country the citizens have the right to protest.

  3. Avatar

    Note

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 12:25 am

    Everyone has the right to protest, but only within the limits of the law. No one in the world has the right to choose which local laws they wish to follow, and which they wish to ignore, in the name of social protest.

    Disregard of the law can not be condoned for adults and Juvenile delinquents a like. As most civilized countries, Thailand has juvenile detention facilities where minors who consider themselves above the law can be suitably detained.

    Changing laws in Thailand, is a matter for the Thai democratic process. The electorate is now well aware of what the protestors stand for, and the protestors are free to test whether there is majority support for their agenda at the next election. Elections in Thailand are widely considered free, fair and transparent. For those who complain that the current Thai constitution does not deliver democratic outcomes, it is worth noting that the current constitution itself was voted on and approved by a majority of the Thai electorate.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    However it is worth noting Mr Note, that the present PM, was not voted into office by the Thai electorate, he was not even a member of parliament.
    So all his his laws and commands should be disregarded. He is not legally in power.

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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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