Thai protesters clash with police after leaders were detained on lese majeste charges


Protesters clashed with police at the station where leaders of the anti-establishment movement were being detained.

Footage shows the chaotic scenes in Khon Kaen, northern Thailand, on Saturday (Feb 20) as protesters demanded that Parit ‘Penguin’ Chiwarak and Jatupat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa are released.

The two leading figures in the Thailand’s protest movement are being detained on controversial lese majeste charges for allegedly insulting the country’s monarchy.

Police formed a human barricade around the station after being warned of the protest. The demonstrators negotiated with Police Colonel Preecha Kengsarikit asking to meet with the police commander of region 4 so that they can submit the plea to cancel lese majeste charges against Chiwarak and Boonpattararaksa.

The demonstrators tried to pass the shield of the police to get inside the police station, causing scuffles However, there were no injuries in the process. Three demonstrators were arrested after they poured dog food in front of the police.

After two hours of negotiation, police officers let the demonstrators in the police station, limiting them to stay in the reception area.

If police would not stop the charges, the demonstrators said that they will gather again at the same place in front of the district police station.

The police commander said that they have received their pleas and will consider their requests according to the procedures. The demonstrators then dispersed and left without any injuries.

Anti-establishment protests erupted across Thailand towards the end of 2020. Activists are calling for sweeping social reforms including the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a new constitution and reforms to the monarchy, which is the wealthiest in the world and commands vast power within the country.