Three prominent pro-democracy protest leaders actions could lead to overthrowing the country’s “democratic regime with the monarch as the head of state” under Section 49 of the Thai Constitution, according to the Constitutional Court’s final verdict this afternoon, November 10th.
The ruling followed the treason complaint filed by Nattaporn Toprayoon, stating that the public speeches that were given by the protest leaders during an anti-government protest at Thammasat University on August 10th, 2020, have contained profane, distorted, and severely insulting content against the monarchy and the royal family.
During the hearing, judges at the Constitutional Court mutually agreed that the speeches and the 10 demands of the pro-democracy protesters were acts of exercising the rights and liberty to overthrow the democratic regime with the monarch as the head of state, violating phrase 1 of Section 49 of the Constitution.
The demand for the abolishment and/or the amendment of Section 112 ‘lésé majéste’ law was essentially an action that could lead to an attempt to overthrow the highest institution, according to the reading.
The Constitutional Court, therefore, found three of the respondents guilty and ordered them and their political organization to stop similar actions in the future. The Court also stressed that people have the right of expression but must not violate the law or go against society’s norms.
TPN media notes that the court can’t convict or implement penalities against the three protest leaders. However, the ruling could open up much harsher action against the leaders including even potentially the death penalty if they do not cease their actions.
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