Hundreds Of Thai Children Facing Serious Criminal Charges Over Protests: Amnesty

According to Amnesty International, over 200 children in Thailand are being charged with serious crimes such as sedition in connection to their participation in the 2020 pro-democracy protests, which were largely peaceful.

In late 2020, youth-led protests demanding political change and reforms to Thailand’s protected monarchy drew large crowds, with tens of thousands taking to the streets of Bangkok at the height of the demonstrations.

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Amnesty International has accused the Thai authorities of arresting, prosecuting, monitoring, and intimidating child protesters for participating in the protests. The organization has called for the charges against minors to be dropped in a report.

According to Chanatip Tatiyakaroonwong, a researcher for Amnesty International Thailand, minors who participated in peaceful protests now face severe consequences, despite having their entire lives ahead of them.

Amnesty International stated that nearly 300 minors have been charged with crimes related to their involvement in the protests, and over 200 of these cases are still ongoing.

The majority of the minors were charged with violating public gathering regulations put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is pertinent to mention here that at least 17 minors are facing charges of insulting the monarchy, which can result in lengthy imprisonment.

According to the report, the youngest child arrested during a demonstration was 11 years old, while police reportedly used cable ties to restrain a 12-year-old in July 2021.

Jean Harris

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