Ex-red shirt boss seeks Amnesty ban

Ex-red shirt boss seeks Amnesty ban

A former red-shirt leader is backing a key government figure's call to have the human rights watchdog Amnesty International banned in Thailand.

Anon Saennan, the ex-leader of the protest group Red-Shirt Villages of Thailand but still a member, said the group will launch a campaign to pressure the group to stop operating in the kingdom.

The move came after Seksakol Atthawong, an assistant minister at the Prime Minister's Office, said that the human rights group should be expelled from the country.

Amnesty International is known to have criticised the government's treatment of political protesters on several occasions, the latest of which followed the Constitutional Court's ruling on the actions of anti-government protesters Anon Nampa, Panupong Jadnok and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul.

The court ruled that their actions at a rally at Thammasat University in August last year constituted an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.

Anon: I agree with Mr Seksakol's call.

The ruling drew the attention of other anti-government protesters, which held a rally in which they announced a declaration which they say will serve as a guideline for reforming the monarchy.

Mr Anon said he agreed with Mr Seksakol's call, saying Amnesty International -- despite its repeated calls for more respect for basic human rights -- is turning a blind eye to the protesters' lack of respect for the higher institution, a reference to the monarchy.

"We're answering [Mr Seksakol's] call and asking red-shirt villages across six regions to collect signatures of those who want to see this organisation out of the county," he said.

Separately on Monday, the Criminal Court revoked Ms Panusaya's bail, reasoning she had offended the monarchy by encouraging people to wear black to a July 28 rally in Bangkok.

This was the second time her bail in a lese majeste case was revoked. Last week, she was taken back into custody for allegedly writing "offensive words" which insulted the monarchy on her body when she brought her protest to central Bangkok on Dec 20 last year.

The court did not revoke bail for two other protest leaders, Chai-amorn Kaewwiboonpan and Mr Panupong, who attended the July 28 rally along with Ms Panusaya. He is currently in prison on other protest-related charges, while Chai-amorn is out on bail.

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