Using the monarchy for repression

1 02 2018

We saw it on social media yesterday, but wanted to wait for the news report before posting, thinking that a new junta legal manipulation might have been a hoax as it is so bizarre.

Khaosod reports that the military dictatorship has had 39 pro-democracy activists charged with “protesting too close to royal property.”

The report adds:

It was the first known use of that provision by the junta, which has relied on its 2014 ban on political gatherings to quash dissent in the name of maintaining order. The prosecution relies on Article 7 of an assembly act passed by junta-appointed legislators that bars any gatherings within 150 meters of a royal palace. If found guilty, the 39 activists face up to six months in jail and fines of 10,000 baht.

The protesters had assembled on the Skywalk outside the MBK Center. The allegation is that the protesters were within 150 meters of the Sra Pathum Palace.

As the report points out, the junta is, of course, acting on double standards: “[a]cross town on Thursday, dozens gathered to wave signs in support of junta deputy leader Prawit Wongsuwan directly in front of the Grand Palace without report of any arrests.”

The junta’s looking increasingly frazzled. Using the monarchy for these political charges means that it is willing to engender more confrontation and conflict in order to preserve its power.


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9 02 2018
From Street Murals to #WeWalk, Thais Protest Against Corruption and Call for Restoration of Democracy · Global Voices

[…] Political Prisoners in Thailand blog commented on the use of a law intended to protect the monarchy in order to detain political […]