Source: Amnesty International –
84 people charged since 13 October, usually on vague and politically motivated charges
Use of arbitrary charges are “merely tactics to scare the whole movement”
As peaceful protests in Thailand grow, the authorities continue to use vague, overly restrictive laws to harass and silence people, said Amnesty International today. The organization calls on the authorities to immediately drop all charges against peaceful protesters and release those still detained.
“The steadily growing protests across Thailand are clear proof of how much people value their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” said Rajat Khosla, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy.
“Instead of maintaining a safe space for people to express their opinions, authorities have repeatedly criminalized peaceful protests through Thailand’s vaguely worded and draconian laws. Charges brought against the supposed protest leaders are merely tactics to scare the whole movement. They are arbitrary, unwarranted and politically motivated.”
At least 84 people have been charged since 13 October, the start of a wave of near-daily mass rallies that followed regular protests across Thailand starting in February. The protests were prompted by the Constitutional Court dissolving the Future Forward party, popular with many young people. Among those charged are two children, aged 16 and 17.
Charges brought against the supposed protest leaders are merely tactics to scare the whole movement. They are arbitrary, unwarranted and politically motivated.