Protests to focus on monarchy reform

Protests to focus on monarchy reform

Actress Inthira 'Sai' Charoenpura greets a group of fans who turned up to give her moral support at Bang Khen police station in Bangkok where she was summoned to answer lese majeste charges on Monday. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)
Actress Inthira 'Sai' Charoenpura greets a group of fans who turned up to give her moral support at Bang Khen police station in Bangkok where she was summoned to answer lese majeste charges on Monday. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

The anti-government movement will next year focus solely on its demand for reform of the monarchy and will step up the pressure on the government if that particular demand isn't met, one of the leading protest figures Arnon Nampa said on Monday.

Mr Arnon was speaking at a rally outside Bang Khen police station in Bangkok, where he and seven other protest leaders and supporters had turned up to answer lese majeste charges.

The seven others were Inthira "Sai" Charoenpura, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, Chinawart Jankrajang, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, Natthathida Miwangpla, Phimsiri Phetnamrop and Phromson Wirathamchari.

They were summoned to face charges of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code over their roles in a Nov 29 protest outside the base of the 11th Infantry Regiment (King's Guard).

The accused, plus about 200 supporters, conducted another rally outside the police station, said a source.

They vented their frustration when told by Pol Col Atthaphon Misiang, chief of the police station, to end their protest, while Mr Arnon himself is said to have approached the police chief and had a heated argument with him.

Mr Parit, meanwhile, continued with his speech, accusing the police of serving a dictator and abusing the lese majeste law against people who had a different point of view about the monarchy.

He reiterated his call for the relevant law, Section 112, to be terminated and later claimed that officers had barred him and other accused from entering the police station to formally answer their charges.

Panupong "Mike" Jadnok, another key protest leader who showed up to offer moral support to his colleagues, accused Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul of attempting to bar new anti-government protests by citing Covid-19 concerns as a reason to prohibit public gatherings.

Mr Arnon also said he had found a number of lawyers to pursue 157 legal cases against the police officials for laying lese majeste charges against people in the anti-government movement, including himself.

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