Thailand Police to Charge Two High School Students Over Allegedly Seditious Protests

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Thailand police are set to charge two Thai school student leaders 15-year old Benjamaporn Nivas and 17-year old Lopanapat Wangpaisit for joining a prohibited protest last month. Both the students have been summoned for contravening an emergency decree on October 15. The protest was joined by thousands of people to advocate for reforms in the monarchical form of governance and the removal of the present Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha.

“Even if you arrest protest leaders, there is not enough space in prison because hundreds more will rise,” Benjamaporn Nivas, one of the two students summoned for attending the protest told Reuters. The “Bad Student” group is planning a protest on Saturday and she would still attend, Benjamaporn further told the news agency.

The Thai administration has been battling a myriad of challenges since July when many youth and student-led organisations started protesting. The government has not been able to subdue the agitation even after making dozens of arrests. Prayuth has turned a deaf ear to the accusation that he rigged last year’s election to hold on to power that he had gained in the 2014 coup.

In addition to the demands of putting restrictions on the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the protesters have further sought to redraw the constitution framed by the erstwhile military rulers. Several activists have expressed their concern regarding the threats given by Prayuth to use all laws to prosecute protesters.

At least 55 people got injured when police used tear gas to quell the agitation on Tuesday, while six others sustained gunshot wounds. The protests have been largely peaceful so far. The protesters are planning to organise yet another major agitation at the Crown Property Bureau on Wednesday.

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