Nine protest groups facing charges

Nine protest groups facing charges

172 people's actions under scrutiny

Protesters flash a three-finger salute during an anti-government rally on Sunday. (Bangkok Post photo)
Protesters flash a three-finger salute during an anti-government rally on Sunday. (Bangkok Post photo)

The Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) says nine groups are facing prosecution for staging protests and "car mob" rallies in defiance of the emergency law this month.

The police are proceeding with legal action against nine groups of protesters: the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration which held a rally on July 2; the Thai Mai Thon protests on July 3, 10, 11; the Prachachon Khon Thai rallies on July 3 and 10; the car mob rallies organised by red-shirt activist Sombat Boonngamanong on July 3 and 10.

The others are the Mok Luang Rim Nam group rally on July 3; the Bangkok Sandbox protest on July 6; the rally led by vocational students on July 9; the Free Youth gathering on July 18; and the protests engineered by the Mu Ban Thalufa on July 22 and 24.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, the MPB deputy commissioner, said yesterday 172 protesters are facing charges under the decree in connection with protests in Bangkok.

Phahonyothin, Phyathai and Nang Loeng stations will investigate other protest activities led by the Mu Ban Thalufa and the so-called "Harley motorbike mob" on July 23 and 25.

Separate investigations are also under way into rallies at Lat Phrao intersection, Victory Monument and outside Government House. Evidence was being gathered to seek prosecution against protesters at those events. The protesters will be summonsed to hear over 20 charges. Pol Maj Gen Piya insisted people had the right to free speech and to assemble. Doing so, however, must not infringe on the rights of others or defame them.

Yesterday, a car mob rally was held at Phetkasem road and ended at the Wong Wian Yai roundabout in Thon Buri in the evening.

On Saturday, a gathering by a group of vocational students is planned at the Democracy Monument. The group is calling for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's resignation.

Police said that during car mob rallies, vehicles honked their horns, disturbing people nearby and other motorists. The rally participants are also accused of causing heavy traffic congestion.

Pol Maj Gen Piya added the protests may pose a danger to public health under the emergency decree as they could spread diseases, including Covid-19. Acts resulting in mass transmission of a disease are also punishable under the Communicable Disease Act, he said.

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