World News – UA – Hecklers by Thai Queen accused of attempted violence and facing death penalty


Thai police say two men will be charged with attempted violence against the Queen, carrying a death sentence, after an incident in which her procession was heckled on Wednesday

As Queen Suthida’s convoy passed a group of protesters on Wednesday, video footage shows them saluting establishment opposition with three fingers and shouting « our taxes », in reference to complaints concerning the expenses of the palace

Bunkueanun « Francis » Paothong told Reuters he was charged after being transported from Bangkok to a border police base outside the province

A policeman said Ekachai Hongkangwan would also be charged at the same police base, but Reuters could not contact him after he arrived

The Thai government cited the incident around Queen Suthida’s convoy to justify imposing emergency measures on Thursday, including banning political gatherings of five or more people

Protests have been on the rise for three months, with protesters seeking reforms to limit the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s monarchy as well as the departure of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, former head of the junta

Under the new measures, which will last for 30 days, political gatherings of five or more people are banned, as well as the posting of news and information online that could threaten national security

Article 110 of the Thai Penal Code imposes a sentence of 16 years of life imprisonment for anyone convicted of violence or attempted violence against the Queen, with a death sentence if an act is likely to result in his life in danger

The video shows her smiling from the car window as she walked past the protesters and then served as a palace in a temple

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has said he is not resigning after tens of thousands of anti-government protesters defied the ban on protests under emergency measures imposed this week

« The government must use the emergency decree We must proceed because the situation has become violent… It is used for 30 days, or less if the situation improves »

M Prayuth warned people not to break emergency measures, saying: « Wait and see… If you do wrong, we’ll use the law »

Protesters demand the impeachment of M Prayuth, who first seized power in a 2014 coup, claiming he held last year’s election to keep power He says the election was fair

There have also been calls for reforms to the monarchy, which is accused by protesters of helping to entrench decades of military influence in politics

Protests in the country of 70 million people were largely peaceful, as was a march of tens of thousands on Wednesday, but in one incident, police pushed mocking protesters to the deviation of a procession carrying Queen Suthida

Police say two men will be charged with attempted violence against the Queen, carrying a death sentence

Protesters denounced emergency measures and the arrest of around 40 protesters last week and are planning another protest for today

« The Pheu Thai Party calls on General Prayuth Chan-ocha and state officials to lift the emergency decree and stop intimidating the population in any way and immediately release those who have been arrested Said the party, which has the most seats in parliament

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Demonstration, Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha

World News – UA – Hecklers by Thai Queen accused of attempted violence, face death penalty



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