Thai authorities block march, charged participants 

6 December 2017


16 individuals were arrested during a march to deliver a petition to the Thai Prime Minister to request the shelving of plans for a coal-fired power plant and may face criminal charges. The arrests occurred after security forces blocked the path of the protesters, leading to a clash between the two groups and minor injuries.


On 24 November villagers, local leaders and environmental activists began a march from the location of a proposed coal-burning power plant in Thepha district, Songkhla province to the site of a meeting of Thailandˇs cabinet in Muang district, Songkhla province. The group intended to deliver a petition to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha to oppose the construction of the power plant. According to government officials, authorities had arranged for the group to meet with another official from the Prime Ministerˇs office, but the group persisted in their attempt to deliver the letter to the Prime Minister himself.

On the afternoon of 27 November, police and military personnel in riot gear blocked the progress of the group, then numbering about 100, on a road as they neared the venue of the Cabinet meeting. A scuffle subsequently broke out between the security forces and protesters. Both police and protesters reported minor injuries. The police arrested 16 protesters, and took them to the police station in Muang district. These individuals were subsequently charged for offenses relating to the obstruction of a public roadway and the use of violence against police officers.

On 28 November, Songkhla Provincial Court set bail for 15 individuals at 90,000 baht (US$ 2,800) and remanded them into police custody. The other individual, a 16-year-old youth, was released on bail at 5,000 baht (US$ 150) on the same day. On 29 November, the other 15 individuals were released after university lecturers offered to serve as guarantors for the detainees. On 30 November police officials stated that they were preparing arrest warrants for a further 20 individuals who had participated in the march. It is possible that additional arrest warrants may be issued in the coming weeks.


Please write immediately in English, Thai or your own language:

  • Calling on authorities to drop all charges against activists involved in the 27 November march that stem from the peaceful exercise of their human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
  • Calling on the government to publicly affirm the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and take steps to ensure the physical safety and security of individuals seeking to exercise these rights.



Prime Minister
Prayut Chan-O-Cha
Government House
Phitsanulok road
Bangkok 10300 Thailand
Fax: + 66 2282 5131.
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister


Com. Gen. of Royal Thai Police 
Pol. Gen Chakthip Chaijinda 
Royal Thai Police Headquarters 
Rama 1 Road 
Pathum Wan 
Bangkok, 10330 Thailand 
Fax: +66 2251 4739 
Salutation: Dear Commissioner General

And copies to:
Minister of Justice
Prajin Jantong
Ministry of Justice
Government Centre Building A
120 Moo 3
Chaengwattana Road, 
Bangkok 10210 Thailand
Fax: +66 2953 0503
Salutation: Dear Minister


Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation