Protesters in Thailand plan to return to Bangkok’s streets on Thursday, reviving a pro-democracy movement after a six-month lull during two waves of COVID-19 outbreaks.
At least four groups of democracy advocates have called for separate gatherings to demand the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and to commemorate the June 24, 1932, Siamese Revolution, which ended absolute monarchy in Thailand.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau has cautioned them against staging demonstrations.
In the first major demonstrations since the hiatus, key youth groups are expected to join the gatherings on Thursday in several locations across the capital of Bangkok.
Dozens of protesters face charges, including sedition and insulting the monarchy, which carry sentences as long as 15 years.
Out of more than 20 advocates who were detained awaiting trial, two remain in jail, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights database showed.
“Protesters will not only act against the law, but they will also face a high risk of infection and may further spread the virus to others, worsening the outbreak situation. We’re urging all protesters to refrain from gatherings,” Bureau Deputy Commissioner Piya Tawichai said yesterday. “Protesters may get some benefits ... but the country will suffer.”
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