Prayut, Prawit sued over state of severe emergency

Prayut, Prawit sued over state of severe emergency

Anti-government demonstrators set up camp outside Government House on the night of Oct 14. A state of severe emergency was declared in the capital city about 4am the following day. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Anti-government demonstrators set up camp outside Government House on the night of Oct 14. A state of severe emergency was declared in the capital city about 4am the following day. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Protest leaders and rights lawyers are suing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and others for 3.5 million baht in damages over the declaration of a state of severe emergency in Bangkok last month.

Representatives of the Human Rights Lawyers Association filed the lawsuit with the Civil Court on Ratchadaphisek Road on Friday. It suit also targeted national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk, the Royal Thai Police Office and the Prime Minister's Office.

There are seven complainants, including Patsaravalee "Mind" Tanakitvibulpon, a student-protest leader from the Mahanakorn for Democracy Group.

The suit relates to Gen Prayut's declaration of a state of severe emergency on Oct 15 to tackle anti-government demonstrators who were demanding his resignation, constitutional changes and the reform of the royal institution.

Nuengruethai Kijakansuparoek, of the lawyers' association, said the declaration violated rights to freedom of politics, transport and expression of opinion. Each of the seven complainants is demanding 500,000 baht in compensation.

Ms Nuengruethai said the closure of electric train service was ordered, some demonstrators were arrested and some people were affected by tear gas, and people were unable to voice their political opinions.

Lawyer Surachai Trongngam, of the lawyers' association, said more civil lawsuits were planned over other incidents.

A state of severe emergency was declared in the early morning of Oct 15 after demonstrators reached Government House and blocked a royal motorcade on Oct 14. It was lifted on Oct 22.

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