Police weigh charges over Thursday rallies

Police weigh charges over Thursday rallies

Activists to be cited for offences ranging from violating emergency decree to traffic laws

Demonstrators march from the Democracy Monument on Ratchamnoen Avenue in Bangkok to parliament on Thursday, after marking the 89th anniversary of the June 24, 1932 revolution. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Demonstrators march from the Democracy Monument on Ratchamnoen Avenue in Bangkok to parliament on Thursday, after marking the 89th anniversary of the June 24, 1932 revolution. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

Leaders and supporters of Thursday's unauthorised pro-democracy rallies in Bangkok face a range of police charges.

The charges include breaching the emergency decree to control Covid-19, the Disease Control Act, the cleanliness law, land traffic law and advertising control law. The offences carry maximum penalties ranging from prison terms to 200 baht fines.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, and Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police Office, outlined the alleged offences at a press conference on Friday.

Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters rallied in Bangkok on Thursday, calling for the government's resignation and defying warnings about the soaring number of coronavirus cases.

Pol Maj Gen Piya said the rallies were held by the Mu Ban Thalu Fah group led by Jatupat Boonpathararaksa, alias Pai Daodin, the Rassadon group led by Arnon Nampa, and the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration led by Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak.

Demonstrators gathered at the Democracy Monument around 5.30am to mark the 89th anniversary of the June 24, 1932 revolution. They later marched to parliament at Kiak Kai intersection, with protest leaders making speeches between 12.40pm and 4pm.

After that demonstrators gathered at the skywalk at Pathumwan intersection from 5pm to 8.30pm, Pol Maj Gen Piya said.

Another rally under the Thai Mai Thon(Impatient Thais) group, led by Jatuporn Prompan, gathered at Phan Fah bridge around 4pm and then marched to an area in front of Ratvinit School on Phitsanulok Road. The rally ended around 7.45pm.

The Prachachon Khon Thai group by activist and lawyer Nittithorn Lamlue gathered at Uruphon intersection around 2pm before marching to an area in front of Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon. The rally ended around 8.30pm.

According to Pol Maj Gen Piya, the demonstrators had violated:

  • Section 9 of the emergency decree, with penalties up to 2 years in jail and/or a fine of 40,000 baht;
  • the Disease Control Act, with fines up to 20,000 baht;
  • the cleanliness law, with fines up to 10,000 baht;
  • the land traffic law, with fines up to 500 baht; and
  • the advertising control law, over the use of loudspeakers, with fines up to 200 baht.

The rallies were held in areas under the jurisdiction of Chana Songkhram, Nang Loeng, Phaya Thai, Sam Sen, Bang Sue, Samran Rat, Tao Poon, Bang Pho and Pathumwan police stations, he said.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau has told them to prepare cases against those involved in the rallies, Pol Maj Gen Piya said.


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