The Metropolitan Police Bureau held a press conference yesterday, September 21, announcing litigation plans and charges against several protest leaders and student activists from the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration who organized a major pro-democracy overnight rally in Bangkok over the past weekend.
A total of sixteen complainants were divided into three groups as follows: the assembly organizers who conducted the gathering without the legal permission of the Assembly Act; the pro-democracy group of people who invited others to join gatherings by giving a persuasive speech on stage and directly and indirectly sending symbolic invitations on social media channels prior to the actual gathering of 19 and 20 September and the speech givers who had spoken regarding alleged inappropriate topics which might also be considered illegal against Thai criminal law.
According to medical doctor Tul Sittisomwong who filed a report against the speech givers yesterday, the speeches in the pro-democracy protest had also involved defamation and insult of the Thai monarchy which is against the Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code. He was one of sixteen, and possibly growing, prominent members of Thai society who have filed lawsuits and legal complaints over the past weekend’s protests.
Investigators from the metropolitan police are in the process of gathering evidence from nearby CCTV footage, pictures, videos, audio recordings, and other media platforms before presenting them to the working group to accuse the perpetrators of violating relevant laws, deputy Bangkok Metropolitan Police chief Sukun Prommayon told the Associated Press.
The current investigation also includes the report from Thailand’s Fine Arts Department regarding the illegal installation of a memorial plaque at Sanam Luang which had reportedly violated the Act on Ancient Monuments, Objects of Art, Antiques, and National Museums.
Additionally, Thai actress and singer Inthira Charoenpura was also reportedly being complained about for supporting food and supplies for demonstrators at the massive gathering which is allegedly against the Assembly Act and the Emergency Decree.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau will conclude the litigation statement and will further announce the charges against the protest leaders according to the filing reports from the complainants after the evidence is sufficiently obtained.
The Protest leaders, meanwhile, state their next major protest will be on Thursday, the 24 of September at Parliament to put further pressure on Parliament for constitutional change, one of their three core demands of the government. The other demands are to stop harassment of Thai protesters, both officially and unofficially and to dissolve Parliament entirely, essentially ending the current government. A splinter group has also asked for additional reforms.