News Alerts

16 Oct 2020 | 03:50 PM UTC

Thailand: Police fire water cannon to disperse protesters in Bangkok October 16

Thailand News Alert

Police fire water cannon to disperse protesters in Bangkok on October 16; avoid further associated demonstrations and follow official instructions

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/16/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/18/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Bangkok

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Event

Riot police fired water cannon to disperse thousands of anti-government demonstrators in Bangkok on Friday, October 16, who defied an emergency decree banning gatherings for the second night and a warning from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Reports indicate that around 2000 demonstrators gathered in the city's main shopping mall district Pathumwan as several hundred police officers pushed protesters with riot shields and batons. The protesters pushed back and throwing plastic bottles and projectiles at police. Demonstrators are demanding the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and calling for reforms to the monarchy.

Further demonstrations and associated disruptions are possible in the near term. A heightened security presence should be expected in the vicinity of protests. Clashes between security forces and protesters are also likely.

Context

Public opposition has grown against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's over government spending, the dissolution of an opposition party, and many other factors. Activists have also called for reforms to the powers of the monarchy. Protests on an increasing scale have been held in Bangkok and other locations across Thailand in recent weeks. Counter protests have also been held, particularly in support of the monarchy.

Thailand's cabinet approved a 30-day state of emergency in Bangkok on Friday, October 16, following the emergency decree announced on Thursday, October 15, due to large-scale demonstrations denouncing the government, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha and calling for reforms to the monarchy. Emergency measures ban gatherings of more than five people within the city and prohibit the publication of news or dissemination of online message which could "create fear". The Prime Minister has warned that a nightly curfew may be introduced if unrest continues.

Advice

Those in Bangkok are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

 

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