Thousands prosecuted for protests in recent months, many of them minors

More than 1,100 people have been prosecuted for political protests between July 2020 and August 2021, where over 400 were charged in August alone, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights reported this week.

The human rights lawyer’s organization said they have known of at least 1,161 people (621 legal cases) who are being prosecuted for alleged crimes that were related to political gathering and expression since the latest pro-democracy movement began on July 18, 2020.

Of the total, 143 are minors, aged under 18.

The majority of them are being charged with:

  • The violation of the state of emergency decree (902)
  • The violation of Section 215 of the Criminal Code which bar a gathering of more than 10 people with intention to create an act of violence or disturb the peace (320)
  • The violation of Section 112 or lese-majeste (124)
  • The violation of Section 116 or sedition (107)
  • The violation of the Public Assembly Act (106)
  • The violation of the Computer Crimes Act (74)

(Numerous people are facing multiple charges, which means that the sum of the charges is greater than the number of people charged.)

Of the 621 cases, 89 have been settled because the accused have paid the fine, two have been dropped by the prosecutor and one has been dropped by the court.

August 2021

At least 404 people were prosecuted in August alone.

The month marked the beginning of the almost daily confrontation between protesters and the riot police at Sam Liam Din Daeng Junction, many of the protesters there are young people.

From the total prosecution last month, 298 were arrested during the confrontations in Din Daeng, where 83 are minors aged between 15 and 18. Of the 83 minors, at least 15 are under 15 years old.

Several international and local human rights organizations condemned the use of excessive force by the Thai police in dispersing the crowd at Din Daeng, as well as the police’s failure to adhere to international standards.

The police said they were following international standards by dispersing the protesters at Din Daeng since they were disrupting the peace.

Those protesting said they were fed up with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s government and wanted him to hear their protest, which is why they intend to continue to demonstrate near his house every day until he resigns. Prayut’s house is not far from the junction, in a military camp.

Another 27 minors were arrested at Din Daeng between September 1 and 7, bringing the total to 110 since the almost-daily confrontation at Din Daeng began.


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