Thailand week in review: Government considering medical amnesty bill, Nine pro-democracy activists denied bail, Thai Prime Minister revokes his own “fake news” order, and more

PHOTO: Thairath

Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, August 9th to the 15th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.

PHOTO: BMA Health

1. Thai Government reportedly considering an amnesty bill, granting relevant officials legal protection from criminal charges around Covid-19 situation

According to the Thai Public Health Minister, the medical amnesty bill would grant legal protection to medical service staff, doctors, and those involved working on the Covid-19 situation without having to have concern over any liability charges or criminal charges. The bill has been approved, in principle, by the cabinet committee to be included in the Communicable Diseases Act on Tuesday. However, the amendment is being closely monitored by oppositional parties and anti-government activists as this amnesty bill could be in favor of high-rank government officials, including the Prime Minister and the Public Health Minister, which opposition parties do not support.

Thai Government reportedly considering an amnesty bill, granting relevant officials legal protection from criminal charges around Covid-19 situation

2. Nine pro-democracy activists denied bail and detained at Thanyaburi District Prison after being charged for illegal gathering, violating Emergency Decree

Several prominent protest leaders from pro-democracy groups “Thalu Fah” and the “United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration” were detained after gathering at the Region 1 Border Police Bureau to demand the release of Pai Dao Din in early August. Thanyaburi Provincial Court had denied bail against the detainees, reasoning that they have aggressively violated the Emergency Decree. They are now being detained at Thanyaburi District Prison while bail requests are being filed to the provincial court. These include popular protest leaders like Peguin and Arnon Nampa.

Nine pro-democracy activists denied bail and detained at Thanyaburi District Prison after being charged for illegal gathering, violating Emergency Decree

3. Thai Prime Minister revokes his own “fake news” order following Civil Court’s suspension rule last week

The revocation came after the Civil Court’s rule that the ban was considered as an unnecessary deprivation of an individual’s rights and liberties as the law prohibited all false and/or misleading information that could lead to public panic and confusion regardless of whether the news was true or not. The Prime Minister then pulled the order prior to the Court’s further discussion.

Thai Prime Minister revokes his own “fake news” order following Civil Court’s suspension rule last week

4. Full recap: Major car rally protest against Thai Prime Minister Prayut’s government staged in the heart of Bangkok this afternoon

Despite the absence of their currently-detained protest leaders, the car mob protest started at  Ratchaprasong Intersection before marching to several significant places in the capital, including Sino Thai Towers, Thamanat Prompow’s housing, and King Power Headquarter. They called off the demonstration shortly after a confrontation with the riot police. Rubber bullets and tear gas were fired at hardline protesters who also responded back with solid objects and firecrackers. The clash last for more than four hours and ended shortly after the curfew hours. This had sparked more protests from other pro-democracy groups to stage nearly daily demonstrations nationwide since.

Full recap: Major car rally protest against Thai Prime Minister Prayut’s government staged in the heart of Bangkok this afternoon

And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!

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