Fifteen anti-junta activists were charged with sedition Thursday, a crime carrying seven years in jail, their lawyer said, for staging a protest this week to mark the fourth anniversary of the last coup by Thailand’s generals.
The protest on Tuesday was small by the standards of Thailand’s rambunctious street politics, but still dominated the headlines in a country wearying of junta rule.
A few hundred people tried unsuccessfully to march on the seat of government in Bangkok to call for promised elections – a poll which the junta keeps pushing back.
The suspects included protest leaders Rangsiman Rome, Ekachai Hongkangwan and Sirawith Seritiwat – perennial thorns in the side of the military which toppled the civilian government on May 22, 2014.
The junta has since banned protests and political gatherings of more than five people.
On top of sedition, the activists were also charged with the “illegal gathering of more than 10 people, obstructing traffic and causing a disturbance“, Pawinee Chumsri, of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights who are representing the group, told AFP.
Sedition is punishable by a maximum of seven years in prison.
Continue reading: NST