Protesters demanding democratic change gathered in Thailand’s Democracy Monument in the capital Bangkok on Wednesday morning, local media reported.
The protest was led by activist Arnon Nampha, who told the protesters to remain peaceful and refrain from violence, and not to clash with any other groups, according to Bangkok Post.
Held on the 47th anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the military-backed government, the rally urged for resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government, the new and more democratic law, and the reform of monarchy.
The demonstration was organized by student networks, including the Free Youth movement and the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, which have been protesting against Prayut’s rule since July.
The Royal Thai Police said it has deployed 14,000 police officers to monitor the pro-democracy rally, the report said.
Earlier, the police arrested 21 protesters during Tuesday’s rally in Bangkok for giving a three-finger salute — a gesture to show solidarity against a dictatorial military-led government.
Since July, Thailand has been gripped by mass protests demanding the resignation of Chan-o-cha, who is a former army chief.
The movement called for reforms to the monarchy, the resignation of the prime minister, dissolution of the parliament, and freedom to criticize the government.
The idea of monarchy reforms is considered a taboo in the country, as the king is protected from insults and criticism under the “lese-majeste” law.
The Thai monarchy is protected by Section 112 of the country’s Penal Code, which says whoever defames, insults, or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years.
* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta
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