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Activists call for freeing lese majeste detainees on bail at huge protest


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST groups today (Oct. 31) organised a peaceful street protest in the heart of Bangkok and repeated calls for the release on bail of detained political activists and the abolition of the draconian lese majeste law, better known as Criminal Code Section 112.

Several activist groups including Khana Ratsadon, United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, Thalufah, We Volunteer, June 24 Democracy, Femliberateth and iLaw resumed the massive street protest in Ratchaprasong Intersection area against the lese majeste law under which several political activists have been arrested and are yet detained in prisons. 

An estimated 160 lese majeste cases have been so far filed against these detained activists including Khana Ratsadon leaders Anon Nampa, Parit Chiwarak, Panupong Jadnok and Jatupat Boonpatararaksa. The activist groups repeatedly called on the authorities to immediately release them all on bail. 

Today’s street protest apparently culminated in Khana Ratsadon activist Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, or Rung, cutting her left arm with a razor to inscribe the numeral 112 and cross it. 

The woman activist raised up her bleeding arm to make the three-finger salute and proclaim her anti-112 resolution through a loudspeaker on a makeshift platform amidst a cheering crowd on  Ratchadamri Road.

Meanwhile, over 2,500 demonstrators signed up on an iLaw-prepared petition in pursuit of the abolition of the lese majeste law which is yet to be forwarded to parliament. 

A minimum of 10,000 verified signatures is needed to warrant the drafting of legislation on the sought-after revocation of the 112 law. 

On the protest site, T-shirts were put on sale with the screen printing of the saying ”Abolish 112” offered free of charge.

The mask-wearing demonstrators also repeated persistent calls for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down in the face of his alleged failure to appropriately handle the pandemic situation,thus resulting in the high rates of infection and fatalities nationwide.


Scenes of today’s huge protest at Ratchaprasong Intersection. Photos: Matichon, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul photo on Home Page: Siam Rath

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