News Alerts

18 Oct 2020 | 07:47 AM UTC

Thailand: Anti-government protesters to gather in Bangkok October 18 /update 3

Thailand News Alert

Activist group calls for protests in Bangkok on October 18; avoid all demonstrations

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/18/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/19/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Bangkok

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Event

The anti-government protest group, The Free Youth Movement, issued a statement on social media calling for demonstrators to gather in Bangkok on Sunday, October 18, for a fifth consecutive day of protests despite an emergency decree banning demonstrations. The group called on activists to gather at BTS and MRT mass transit stations across the city from 15:00 (local time) ahead of an announcement of where protests will occur in a move to prevent police from forestalling gatherings. Such a tactic was used ahead of anti-government protests on Saturday, October 17, despite the prior closing of the entire BTS Skytrain system and the MRT Blue and Purple Lines.

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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