News Alerts

17 Oct 2020 | 09:22 AM UTC

Thailand: Anti-government protesters to gather in Bangkok October 17 /update 1

Thailand News Alert

Anti-government protesters to gather in Bangkok on October 17 despite demonstration ban; avoid all protests

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/17/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/19/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Bangkok

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Event

Anti-government protesters have called for a demonstration in Bangkok on Saturday, October 17, despite an emergency decree which bans protests within the city. The People's Movement has called for activists to gather from 16:00 (local time) but did not give a location. All services on the MRT Blue Line have been suspended as of 12:30 whilst the BTS Skytrain announced that 14 stations in central Bangkok would be closed from 14:30 due to the emergency decree. Police have also blocked access to the Victory Monument and the Asok Intersection as these may act as focal points for unrest.

Anti-government demonstrations have involved clashes between protesters and police since the introduction of the emergency decree. A heightened security presence should be expected in the vicinity of protests and associated disruptions are 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 messages which could "create fear". The Prime Minister has warned that a nightly curfew may be introduced if unrest continues. On Friday, October 16, police used water cannon to disperse thousands of protesters who had gathered in the Pathumwan area in defiance of the decree.

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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