Risks life in prison after calling for the royal family’s car

In recent days, Thailand’s capital Bangkok has been marked by confrontations between the authorities and angry protesters. On Friday, the authorities worked hard and removed the protesters with the use of powerful water cannons and subsequent mass arrests.

Among the demands of the demonstrators are new elections and reforms of how the royal house works.

Can get life

DEMONSTRATIONS: Police in Thailand have been given extra crisis powers to deal with the protesters in Bangkok. Photo: Gemunu Amarasinghe

According to the New York Times, the authorities have now also implemented a very rarely applied law that can have major consequences for two of those who have taken to the streets to demonstrate. The text of the law they are accused of describes “acts of violence against the queen’s freedom”, and if they are convicted of this, they can end up serving the rest of their lives in prison.

The two are said to have broken the relevant law on Wednesday this week, when the entourage of Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya and Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti drove down a street with protesters in their Rolls-Royce. That members of the royal family did this was a big surprise, as one of the things the protesters demand is reform of the royal house.

Strict practice

The country practices one of the world’s strictest laws when it comes to insults to the majesty and criticism of the royal house, and also practices strict rules for how to behave towards them.

In addition, the authorities have given the police extra power after a crisis statement on Thursday: from now on, gatherings of more than five people in Bangkok are prohibited, and everywhere can be declared banned for demonstrators by the police. They can also be arrested without charge for up to 30 days, without access to lawyers or the opportunity to contact family, writes the New York Times.

The sight of the king’s fourth wife and the prince (who is the son of the king’s third wife, and who is also heir to the throne) on Wednesday this week, shocked the protesters, as they live most of the year in Germany and are extremely rare in Thailand.

Showed the Hunger Games greeting

The meeting has potentially very big consequences for the experienced demonstrator Aekachai Hongkangvan and the university student Bunkueanun Paothong.

– Oi, the royal family’s entourage, said the first, and made signs with three fingers against the cars.

POPULAR GREETING: This hand gesture has become popular among protesters. It’s inspired by the “The Hunger Games” universe. Photo: Gemunu Amarasinghe

This is a hand gesture the protesters have borrowed from the book and film universe “The Hunger Games”.

– Stay on the line and stay peaceful, Bunkueanun said in a megaphone.

According to the New York Times, it is these reactions that the two are now charged with, and according to the newspaper, the legal text is so rarely used that it is not mentioned by the country’s Supreme Court.

“When I was studying, the teachers did not pay attention to this promise, and we skipped it,” opposition politician and former law professor Piyabutr Saengkanokkul told the newspaper.

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