The youth-led protest motion that started final 12 months has been reinvigorated by the arrests of distinguished protest leaders.
Hundreds of demonstrators have gathered within the Thai capital, Bangkok, to demand authorities launch some protest leaders from jail, defying an order on Friday banning public gatherings within the metropolis.
A youth-led protest motion sprang up final 12 months calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army authorities chief, and reform of the highly effective monarchy. Thai courts have denied latest requests for bail for a number of the jailed protest leaders.
“Release our friends,” shouted the protesters in unison on Saturday, as they gathered in entrance of a prison court docket surrounded by barbed wire. A water cannon could possibly be seen behind the gates of the court docket.
“Abolish 112,” additionally they mentioned, referring to Thailand’s lese majeste regulation, or Section 112 within the Thai prison code, which prohibits anybody from insulting or defaming the king.
A number of protesters burned images of the king on the rally. Separate teams additionally led two different protests at different places in Bangkok.
Earlier on Saturday, police warned protesters they risked being arrested and police may use harsher measures if protesters turned unruly.
“Protests are illegal. Anyone who joins or invites others to join is breaking the law,” Piya Tavichai, deputy commissioner of Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau, informed a information convention.
Police used rubber bullets for the primary time final Sunday, in addition to tear fuel and water cannon to disperse protesters. Ten protesters and 26 police have been injured.
In a podcast on Saturday morning, the prime minister urged Thais to respect the regulation and keep away from battle.
“We have to love each other and be united, not divided, and respect the law,” mentioned Prayuth, who first got here to energy after main a army coup in 2014.
The Royal Palace has declined to immediately touch upon the protests, however Prayuth and authorities officers have mentioned criticism of the king is illegal and inappropriate
The youth-led political motion was launched final 12 months. But it misplaced steam when it took a break in December and January as Thailand was hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections.
However, the latest arrest of 4 distinguished protest leaders has reinvigorated the pro-democracy protests.