Dozens of protesters in Bangkok demand the release of two pro-democracy leaders

Protesters besiege a court of the capital. Police arrested Anon Nampa and Panupong Jasnok for their role in recent anti-government demonstrations. Activists want democratic overtures and the reform of the monarchy.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Dozens of protesters gathered today in front of a court in the Thai capital to demand the release of two anti-government activists, urging fellow Thais to join in their protest.

Recently, also due to the coronavirus pandemic, public pressure has increased against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army, who came to power six years ago in a military coup.

Prayuth has led a civilian government since last year, but his critics consider the elections that formally ended military rule to have been rigged.

Last February, the Constitutional Court ordered the dissolution of the second opposition party, ensuring that the former general would obtain a larger parliamentary majority.

Protesters want the release of human rights lawyer Anon Nampa and student leader Panupong Jasnok. Police arrested the two activists for their role in recent demonstrations in favour of democracy and against the coup-derived government.

More specifically, Anon and Panupong are accused of sedition and violating an emergency decree imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Last Monday, during the protest, Anon also called for a reform of the monarchy. On 21 July, Prime Minister Prayuth had warned pro-democracy protesters against attacking the king, who is seen by most Thais as a sacred figure.