Conflicts & War

At least 33 injured during anti-government protest in Bangkok

Bangkok, Mar 1 (efe-epa).- At least 33 people were injured during clashes last night in Thailand’s capital between protesters and police forces, marking one of the most violent days since the beginning of the July pro-democracy movement, the Erawan emergency service said Monday.

Authorities fired tear gas and rubber bullets during the anti-government in Bangkok, in addition to using water cannons. to repress protesters, while detaining more than 20 people, according to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights group.

Protests against the government, which stopped between November and January and are mostly organized by student movements, aimed to march to the home of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, who led the coup d’etat in 2014.

The residence of Prayut, a retired general who retained power in the controversial 2019 elections, is located within the military camp of the 1st Infantry Regiment, since 2019 under the direct control of King Vajiralongkorn.

During the police operation, to which protesters responded by throwing stones and other blunt objects, a member of the authorities died of a heart attack, emergency services said.

Pro-democracy protests began in July 2020 to demand the resignation of the prime minister, the drafting of a new Constitution – since the current one was drawn up by the previous military junta who ruled until 2019 – and reduce the power of the military.

The most ambitious demand came the following month, when they demanded the reform of the monarchy so that it has less political influence and the amendment of the royal defamation law, which punishes anyone who criticizes it with sentences of between three and 15 years in prison.

More than 60 people, including the main leaders of the movement, the vast majority of which have demonstrated peacefully, have been denounced by authorities for violating the draconian law, and four of them have been in prison pending trial since early February.

The Uited Nations, the European Union and the United States have criticized Thailand’s use of the law and its excessive penalties, including a 43-year prison sentence imposed by a court on an official in January for sharing a radio program criticizing the monarchy on social media. EFE-EPA

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