Two arrested after weekend Bangkok protests

Two people were arrested Saturday for protesting against the government’s use of the lese-majeste law, at the Victory Monument intersection in downtown Bangkok.

About 50 protestors from Liberating Guard, a faction of the main pro-democracy group Ratsadon, gathered around noon to protest against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s government and its use of the law.

Forty-eight people, mostly protest leaders, have now been charged with the violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits anyone from “defaming, insulting or threatening” the King or his family.

Violators could be sentenced to jail between three and 15 years if found guilty. Human rights organizations have said the law is too vague and has been used as a political tool to silence members of the opposition and dissidents.

Pro-democracy protestors, mostly led by university students, have been protesting against Prayut’s administration since June. They are calling for the rewriting of the junta-drafted charter, the reformation of the royal institution and the lifting of the lese-majeste law.   

The flash mob on Saturday was met with arrests as police said the protestors were violating the state-of-emergency law. The government imposed the law on 26 March, 2020, saying it was necessary to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Two protestors from Liberating Guard were taken to the Phayathai Police Station.

There was no sign of recognizable protest leaders from Ratsadon at the time of writing but representatives of the detained protestors said they will regroup and come back to demand the release of the two detained protestors.

The identity of the two protestors is still unknown.

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