Asia - Pacific

Thai protest leaders face charges over royal insult

12 pro-democracy leaders summoned ahead of another planned rally in Bangkok

Thai protest leaders face charges over royal insult


Using the controversial draconian laws for the first time in last three years, authorities in Thailand on Wednesday summoned 12 pro-democracy leaders for allegedly insulting the monarchy, local media reported.

The move came hours before a huge rally planned by the anti-government protesters in Bangkok, the capital city of the country, Bangkok Post reported.

Last week, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha warned the protesters against insulting the monarchy. Under the country's laws, such charges can land a convicted person in jail for up to 15 years.

Premier Prayut also said all laws would be used against the protesters demanding his removal from office.

His warning came amid continuing street rallies by anti-government protesters demanding his removal and reforms to the monarchy.

Last week, 55 people were injured when protesters clashed with police during a rally near the parliament.

Meanwhile, police have blocked all the roads around the royal ground in Dusit and Phra Nakhon districts in Bangkok city, where anti-government protesters have announced to hold a rally this afternoon.

Rolls of razor wire and steel barricades were placed walling off important places that caused traffic congestion in the area, according to the daily.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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