Thai activists continue to call for reforms despite protest ban


Hundreds of demonstrators defied a ban on protests Saturday to demand that Thai authorities release some leaders of their movement.

The protesters are part of a youth-led movement that last year started calling for reform of the country’s powerful monarchy, and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.

Gathering in front of a criminal court surrounded by barbed wire, the group shouted “Release our friends!” and called for a law that prohibits anyone from insulting or defaming the king to be abolished, Reuters reported.

A few protesters burned photographs of the king at the rally, the action that got activist and musician Chaiamorn “Ammy” Kaewwiboonpan, 32, arrested on Wednesday.

Anti-government protesters in Bangkok, Thailand on March 6, 2021.
Anti-government protesters in Bangkok, Thailand on March 6, 2021.
EPA

Police warned protesters that gatherings were illegal. A water cannon truck was near the court.

The prime minister, in a podcast, urged the people to respect the law and avoid conflict. “We have to love each other and be united, not divided, and respect the law,” said Prayuth, who first came to power after leading a military coup in 2014.

Anti-government protester holds a drawing of one of their detained fellow Patipan Luecha during a rally calling to free their jailed leaders and revoke the lese majeste law outside the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand on March 6, 2021.
An anti-government protester holds a drawing of one of their detained fellow Patipan Luecha during a rally calling to free their jailed leaders and revoke the lese majeste law outside the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand on March 6, 2021.
EPA

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