Three people were injured when demonstrators marched through Bangkok on Sunday in protest against a recent Constitutional Court decision that declared calls for reform of the monarchy unconstitutional.
With placards and banners reading: “No absolute monarchy”And “Reform is not abolition”. People marched in large numbers to protest King Maha Vajiralongkorn returning to absolute monarchy.
Some activists spray painted graffiti on roads while they marched. “This country belongs to the people,”One message was sent. The protest was sparked by the Thai Constitutional Court’s Wednesday decision de facto outlawing all calls to reform the institution of the monarchy.
The statement stated that the calls for reform made by three protest leaders on August 2020 were not constitutional and amounted to an attempt at overthrowing the monarchy. “We are not overthrowing this country.
The reform is to make it better,”Thatchapong Kaidam, one of the protest leaders said this on Sunday. “The Constitutional Court is seizing power from the people.”
To express dissatisfaction over the decision, protesters set fire to nine of the judges on the Constitutional Court.
The police blocked the march of the crowds towards the Democracy Monument, which was in the center of the city. They then moved to the German Embassy where they read a statement drawing attention to the king’s frequent stays in the European country.
It said the king’s “increased powers… are pulling Thailand away from democracy and back to absolute monarchy,”And that demonstrators desire to see the country “ruled by a system in which everyone is equal.”
As a result of the protest, large numbers have been sent to the city by police. A few brief confrontations occurred between police and protesters. One point saw the crowd break through a security cordon. One of the most tense moments was when a small police unit, packed tightly with officers, retreated from crowd. Several officers were allegedly firing rubber bullets right at the crowd.
One photo posted on social media shows a person suffering from what appears to have been an abdominal injury caused by a rubber bullet. On Sunday, police confirmed at least three injuries and said that they were still investigating the cause. Officials also claimed that explosions could be heard from the German Embassy as people rushed towards it.
Thailand considers the reforming of the monarchy radical and controversial. This is because the institution is sacred. A lese-majeste law is also in place in Thailand, which means that anyone who defames the monarchy can face 15 years imprisonment. The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights report that at least 157 individuals have been accused under this law in the past year.
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