Disasters & Accidents

More than 30 injured in Thai anti-monarchy protests

Bangkok, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- At least 31 people were injured in a clash between police and protesters during demonstrations against lèse majesté law in Thailand a day ago, officials said on Sunday.

The injured include 11 protesters and 20 police officers in the protests by students and pro-democracy activists, Thai Public Broadcasting Service reported, citing Erawan Medical Emergency Center.

Police also arrested some demonstrators protesting against the law that penalizes any criticism of the Thai royals.

Clashes took place after protesters draped Bangkok’s Democracy Monument in red cloth as can be seen in EPA-EFE photographs.

The protesters also called for the release of four of their leaders arrested on charges of violating the lèse majesté that entails penalties of up to 15 years in prison for those who threaten or offend the royal family.

Last Wednesday, hundreds of people participated in a protest against the law in the first anti-government demonstration since last November.

Pro-democracy protests began last July to demand the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and scaling down the military powers.

The protesters also sought the drafting of a new constitution since the current one was drawn by the previous military junta (2014-2019).

However, the most ambitious demand came the following month when they sought reforms in the monarchy to reduce its political influence and the amendment of the lèse majesté law.

The Prosecutor’s Office last Tuesday formally charged the four pro-democracy demonstrators under the lèse majesté law.

The UN, the European Union, and the United States have criticized the use of lèse majesté in Thailand to silence criticism of the government. EFE-EPA


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