Thailand uses emergency decree to ban rallies after Bangkok protests | World news


The Thai government banned gatherings of five or more people and posting any information or messages online that could harm national security early Thursday under an emergency decree aimed at ending street protests in Bangkok.Authorities also arrested two leaders of anti-government protests, Arnon Nampa and Panupong Jadnok on Thursday morning, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights group said. Police made no immediate comment.

“Authorities arrested Arnon and Panupong at 5 a.m.,” the rights group said, adding that Arnon was arrested for a speech he gave in the northern city of Chiang Mai. He said the reason for Panupong’s arrest was not clear.

Protests in Thailand escalated for three months and protesters set up camp outside Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s offices to demand his resignation on Wednesday night. The government said it also acted after protesters obstructed a royal procession.

“It is extremely necessary to introduce an urgent measure to end this situation effectively and quickly in order to maintain peace and order,” state television said.

On the ground with Penguin, the Thai protest leader risks prison – vidéo

It was accompanied by a document outlining measures that took effect from 4 a.m. local time (9 p.m. GMT) to ban large gatherings and allow authorities to ban people from entering any area that ‘they designate.

It also prohibits: “The publication of news, other media and electronic information containing messages which may create fear or intentionally distort the information, thereby creating misunderstandings which will affect national security or the peace and order.”

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Bangkok on Wednesday. Protesters who had occupied the space outside Prayuth’s Bangkok office were cleared by police early Thursday, a Reuters witness said.


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