Bangkok (AP) —Thai prosecutors say five people at a street demonstration last October about changes that attempted to harm the Queen when some protesters shouted a slogan criticizing the monarchy. Indicted a democratic activist.
Queen Suthida, wife of King Maha Vajralongkorn, when a limousine carrying the Queen and her son, Prince Dipancorn Rasmihoti, passed through a crowd of protesters mixed with royal supporters. The incident that occurred did not pose any obvious danger. family.
Five have been accused of violating Article 110 of the Criminal Code, and anyone attempting to commit violence against the Queen or royal heirs will be sentenced to 16 to 20 years in prison. They include veteran activist Ekachai Hong Kang Wan, a social critic who has been repeatedly attacked by unknown perpetrators.
All five deny cheating. After their indictment, they were released on bail of THB 200,000-300,000 ($ 6,400- $ 9,600) respectively.
It is very unusual for a royal car to be driven near a protest. In the October 14 incident, police tied their arms together as the Queen’s car passed, keeping spectators away. Some protesters shouted a slogan criticizing the monarchy, and monarchists screamed in favor of the Royal Institution.
The encounter took place on the day more than 10,000 people met and demanded the resignation of him and his cabinet near the same location outside Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha’s office.
Police disbanded the rally later that night and declared a state of emergency in Bangkok the next day, including a ban on unauthorized rallying of five or more people. The ban was ignored and the state of emergency was revoked shortly thereafter.
Thailand has strict laws that protect the reputation and security of the royal family. The law prohibiting defamation of a monarch or his close relatives imposes up to 15 years’ imprisonment on each count.
The democratization movement includes the reform of the monarchy as one of its core demands. As protest leaders increased their criticism of the Royal Institution, authorities responded by accusing them of defaming the monarchy.
A Thai human rights lawyer for the Legal Aid Group said at least 81 activists have been prosecuted under the law since November last year.