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22 Oct 2020 | 06:43 AM UTC

Thailand: Authorities end state of emergency on October 22 /update 7

Thailand News Alert

Thai authorities end state of emergency on October 22 following week of unrest; further protests likely

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/22/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/25/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Thailand

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Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Thursday, October 22, that the state of emergency in Bangkok would be revoked, stating that the violence that prompted it had ended. The state of emergency was declared following weeks of anti-government protests and was set to remain in force until November 13. The move comes as the prime minister attempts to de-escalate the situation, stating on Wednesday that he would lift the state of emergency in exchange for the protests remaining peaceful. Despite this, protests demanding Chan-o-Cha's resignation and the release of detained activists took place on Wednesday evening, with protesters giving him a deadline of three days to do so or face a new round of large-scale protests.

Continued anti-government protests are likely over the near term. Previous demonstrations have involved clashes between protesters and police. Authorities have also previously ordered the closing of parts of the mass transit system prior to protests. A heightened security presence should be expected in the vicinity of protests and associated disruptions are likely.


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. Prior to protests within the city on Saturday, October 17, the entire BTS Skytrain system and the MRT Blue and Purple Lines of Bangkok's mass transit system were closed. Police have stated that they are currently investigating four domestic media outlets for their coverage of the protests.


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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