The arrests came after Queen Suthida’s motorcade prompted protesters in Bangkok on Wednesday, with a video showing the crowd shouting and holding the rugged finger inspired by the franchise of the movie Hunger Games. Police were seen pushing the protesters as the car, carrying King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s youngest son Prince Dipangkorn, passed slowly.
Bunkueanun “Francis” Paothong and Ekachai Hongkangwan will be charged under Section 110 of Thailand’s criminal code, according to Thai Lawyers For Human Rights.
Those convicted of Section 110 face up to 16 years in maximum life imprisonment for violence or attempted violence against the Queen, the heir or apparent regent. If actions are considered to endanger the Queen’s life, then the death penalty may apply.
Poonsuk Poonsulcharoen, a lawyer from Thai Human Rights Lawyers, said the couple is believed to be facing charges that carry the maximum sentence in life.
Ekachai was arrested as he was on his way to the police station in Dusit Bangkok to reach himself, and Bunkueanun was arrested after he surrendered to police, a group of lawyers said.
The decision, effective in the Thai capital, prohibits gatherings of more than five people and includes a nationwide ban on publishing and broadcasting news and information – including online – that incites fear of the public.
In a massive protest demonstration, thousands of protesters hit the streets of Bangkok on a second night on Thursday. Authorities, through a loudspeaker, warned that protesters were violating the order, taking photographs and possibly being charged and arrested. But most of the protesters gathered at the Ratchaprasong Intersection in Bangkok’s commercial center, dancing, joking with the police, and waving lights from their cell phones.
Protests are expected to continue until the weekend.
Student-led demonstrations and marches that have continued across Thailand since July have grown in recent weeks. Protesters called for a new constitution, the dissolution of parliament and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, as well as an end to the intimidation of government critics.
An even more central need is the reform of the country’s monarchy to overthrow the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn and ensure a true constitutional monarchy under a democratic system.
Prime Minister Prayut has responded to calls for his removal on Friday, saying, “I will not stop.”
At a news conference following a special cabinet meeting, Prayut said the cabinet had approved the emergency order and it could stay in place for up to 30 days.
“This (the decree) will be used in just one month or less if the situation returns to normal,” the Prime Minister said. “It does not aim to hurt anyone. Recently who was hurt? Most were the officers. This means that the situation is not regular.”
Prayut also warned protesting children not to break the law and asked parents to monitor their children.
“For those students, should parents do their best to take care of their children because I do not want to see any consequences, it is very harmful. I do not know what the mother really wants. mastermind, “he said.
Protesters have been out in Bangkok every day this week since Tuesday and coincided with King Vajiralongkorn’s return to Thailand for many royal duties, including marking his father’s memorial day. , the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
On Wednesday, thousands of protesters marched from the city’s Democratic Monument and ran over a police barricade to camp outside Prayut’s offices until nightfall.
Authorities stepped up security this week, deploying nearly 15,000 police officers to control people on Wednesday.
Thai Lawyers For Human Rights say 51 people have been arrested and are facing legal action following protests against the government in Bangkok this week.
These include some prominent activists including student leader Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, human rights lawyer and protest leader Arnon Nampa, and protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak.
Details surrounding the area for 51 arrests have not yet been released.