On Thursday, a demonstration organized by a collection of civil rights groups called “The People GO Network” in Bangkok culminated in a petition filed with the Civil Court to revoke the emergency decree.
The lawsuit questions the necessity of an extended state of emergency until the end of July with activist leaders claiming the law restricts the public’s right to assembly and protest.
Due to the rate of covid-19 infections slowing dramatically in Thailand, and with no local cases recorded for well over a month, the group called on the Thai government to replace the emergency decree with reasonable laws such as the Communicable Disease Act.
The demonstration was sparked by the summons of four activists charged with violating the emergency decree by protesting at the Cambodian Embassy last month.
The four summoned activists joined around 50 others at 9 am on Thursday at Lat Phrao MRT station in Bangkok to march toward the Civil Court.
The group held up signs reading, “Emergency Decree solves problems or creates problems?” and “Stop citing the pandemic to shut people’s mouths,” while chanting “Life the emergency decree now!”
Despite only around 50 people participating in the demonstration, 40 police and traffic officers facilitated the march. However, there were no reports of them intervening with the protest.
Before the event, Phahonyothin Police had attempted to block the activity using the emergency decree laws to cite it as a large gathering of people. However, they were unsuccessful.
Upon arriving at the Civil Court, five representatives from the group filed a lawsuit against Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, calling for lifting the state of emergency.
After filing the lawsuit, the group proceeded to Wangthonglang Police Station in support of the four who had previously been summoned for violating the emergency law.
The four had attended a demonstration at the Cambodian Embassy to call for action in the case of missing activist, Wanchalerm Satsaksit, who disappeared from his home in Phnom Penh.
Despite informing police of their schedule in advance, the demonstrators were forbidden from gathering in front of the police station. Following extended negotiations, they were provided only a limited space to occupy for their protest.
The four summoned made a stance by tearing up copies of the emergency decree and throwing them in the rubbish before entering the police station.
They entered the police station and rejected all allegations. Police will file a case with the prosecutor against them within the next 30 days.