Court drops lawsuit over 'containment'

Court drops lawsuit over 'containment'

The Civil Court has dropped a case filed by political activists against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk for allegedly overreacting to a street protest in central Bangkok almost two years ago.

Seven people, most of them political activists and university students, took Gen Prayut, now suspended as premier over his tenure issue; Gen Prawit, who is filling in as acting prime minister; and Pol Gen Suwat to court in connection with the police operation to contain youth-led, anti-government protesters at Pathumwan intersection from Oct 14-16, 2020.

The court found the defendants had acted within their powers and duties in responding to the protest and decided to throw out the case.

The crowd containment was ordered under an emergency situation declared from Oct 15-22, 2020.

The plaintiffs had told the court the emergency declaration was unlawful as it was deemed an over-action that allowed law enforcement authorities to exercise power at whim in dispersing the protesters, closing mass-transit routes to protesters, and making arrests.

The plaintiffs, including students from Mahanakorn University of Technology, Chulalongkorn University and Thammasat University, lodged the petition with the Civil Court on Nov 27, 2020.

They sought a court order for the plaintiffs to revoke the emergency declaration pay 3.5 million baht in damages, plus 7% interest.

The protesters, led by the Ratsadon group, were met with water cannons and tear gas, resulting in six injuries.


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