Thailand: Charging of protestors makes mockery of junta’s pledge to lift restrictions

May 24, 2018


Photo: #Realframe

Responding to the news that fifteen people have been detained by police and charged on 23 May with a range of offences, including sedition, for taking part in peaceful protests in Bangkok to mark the fourth anniversary of the military coup in Thailand, Katherine Gerson, Amnesty International’s Campaigner on South East Asia, said:

“Detaining and charging peaceful protesters makes a mockery of the promise that authorities will lift political restrictions within the next month. This is not the move of a government that is willing to allow the peaceful expression of dissenting views.

“Thai authorities must immediately and unconditionally drop all charges and release these men and women, as well as others who remain behind bars for no more than peacefully exercising their human rights.

“The NCPO must stop misusing the criminal justice system as a tool to suppress dissent and to harass human rights defenders, activists and political opponents.”



Since the military coup on 22 May 2014, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) – the ruling military governing body – has systematically suppressed criticism, including the peaceful activities of political activists and human rights defenders, and made “political” gatherings of five or more people illegal.


Amnesty International is calling on the Thai authorities to guarantee an environment in which all people are free to peacefully gather, express and exchange opinions. The Thai authorities must drop all charges against peaceful activists and those in prison must be released immediately and unconditionally.