An ongoing wave of protests has swept Thailand in recent months. Hundreds of thousands of people, mainly students, have taken to the streets to teach Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha what democracy is. The former general has regularly imposed anti-democratic measures on the people of Thailand.
Protesters are fed-up with how the country has been run. Corruption and shrinking democratic space, among others, are chronic diseases caused by the incompetence of the military government. The movement has been calling for three significant changes to Thailand’s power structure: the dissolution of parliament, the rewriting of the military-drafted constitution, and an end to the intimidation of dissidents.
The protest today is a continuation of the resistance that happened long before, especially the one that caught the attention of the international community, namely the Red Shirt movement in 2010. However, the reaction of Prayut’s regime was predictable, ordering the brutal crackdown of the movement. Now Prayut has imposed a state of emergency in an effort to silence the voice of the people. Bangkok is becoming a real battleground between the savage police and the movement. Both police and military are like predators hunting protesters: they beat, raid, and arrest without restraint.
According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), by 18 October, there are 81 protestors with different background, for instance, guards, students and truck drivers that have been arrested. Several pro-democracy activists have been arrested denied bail such as,
- Arnon Nampa (human rights lawyer)
- Ekachai Hongkangwan (former lèse-majesté prisoner)
- Jatupat Boonpattararaksa (human rights defender and former lèse-majesté prisoner)
- Panupong Jadnork
- Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (student leader)
- Parit Chiwarak (student leader)
- Somyot Pruksakasemsuk (labour activist and former lèse-majesté prisoner)
- Prasit Karutarote (student leader)
We strongly condemn the government of Thailand for the ongoing crackdown on the pro-democracy movement.
We stand in solidarity with the protest movement in Thailand and demand:
- Lift the state of emergency and end the crackdown on pro-democracy protests
- Release of the pro-democracy movement activists and all political prisoners
- Stop the intimidation against pro-democracy activities
- End the military rule and hold a fair election
- Repeal repressive laws including the lèse-majesté laws.
- Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS), Korea
- Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC), Hong Kong
- Sedane Labour Resource Centre (LIPS), Indonesia
- Printing, media and information workers union (PPMI), Bekasi, Indonesia
- Bandung Legal Aid, Indonesia
- Street Library, Nunukan, Indonesia
- Solidaritas Perempuan, Jakarta, Indonesia
- Solidaritas Perempuan Anging Mammiri, Indonesia
- Transnational Palm Oil Labour Solidarity (TPOLS), Network
- Worker’s Initiative, Kolkata, India
- Joy Hernandez, labor rights and tax justice activist, Philippines
- Apo Leong, labor rights activist, Hong Kong
- Bruce Van Hois, labor rights activist, Hong Kong
- Suisse Solidar, Hong Kong office
- Textile and Garment Workers Federation (TGWF), Bangladesh
- Globalization Monitor, Hong Kong
- Serve the People Association (SPA), Taiwan
- Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor, Malaysia
- North South Initiative, Malaysia
- Centre for Worker Education, India
- Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL), Cambodia