Thai police crack down on protesters; PM refuses to resign

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Thai police crack down on protesters; PM refuses to resign
BANGKOK: Riot police in Thailand cracked down on 1000’s of student-led protesters who gathered within the capital on Friday in defiance of a strict state of emergency, whereas PM rejected requires his resignation .
Protesters gathered within the torrential monsoon rains to push their calls for, together with that the prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha go away workplace, the structure be amended and the nation’s monarchy undergoes reform.
It was the second day they defied an order to not assemble, imposed after some protesters heckled a royal procession, an unprecedented improvement in Thailand, the place the monarchy is generally held in reverence.
Police used water cannons and charged the group, dispersing protesters, onlookers and journalists. Journalists who have been hit by the water stated the water brought on a burning sensation and was dyed blue, to mark protesters for doable later arrest.
Police seem to have taken management of the rally web site and far of the group retreated to a road in close by Chulalongkorn College, the place some organizers suggested them to take cowl if they didn’t return immediately. at their house.
Police stated a number of protesters and police have been injured within the stampede and 7 folks arrested. An opposition MP, Pita Limjaroenrat, estimated the variety of arrests at 100.
Police beforehand closed roads and erected barricades round a significant Bangkok intersection the place some 10,000 protesters defied the brand new decree on Thursday. Police in riot gear secured the world, whereas malls within the usually busy buying district closed early. Close by transit stations have been closed to stop crowds of protesters from approaching the world.
Pupil protesters, nonetheless, merely moved down the road to a different main crossroads.
Prayuth’s authorities on Thursday declared a brand new strict state of emergency for the capital, a day after the heckling of the procession. The state of emergency prohibits public gatherings of greater than 5 folks and prohibits the dissemination of knowledge deemed threatening to nationwide safety. It additionally offers the authorities broad powers, together with the extended detention of individuals with out cost.
Various protest leaders have already been arrested for the reason that decree got here into pressure. Two different activists have been arrested on Friday underneath a legislation protecting violence in opposition to the Queen for his or her alleged participation within the ruckus of the procession. They danger life imprisonment if discovered responsible.
The protest motion was began in March by college college students and its predominant preliminary calls for have been new elections, adjustments to the structure to make it extra democratic and an finish to the intimidation of activists.
Protesters accuse Prayuth, who, as military commander, led a 2014 coup that toppled an elected authorities, was unfairly returned to energy in final yr’s common election as a result of the legal guidelines had been modified to favor a pro-military celebration.
However the motion took a staggering flip in August, when college students at a rally issued unprecedented criticism of the monarchy and known as for its reform. Utilizing direct language usually expressed in whispers, if in any respect, audio system criticized the king’s wealth, his affect, and the truth that he spends a lot of his time exterior the nation.
The royal household of Thailand has lengthy been thought of sacrosanct and a pillar of Thai identification. King Maha Vajiralongkorn and different key members of the royal household are protected by a lese majesty legislation that has been frequently used to silence critics who resist 15 years in jail if they’re deemed to have insulted the ‘establishment.

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