BANGKOK (Reuters), 24 March, 2021 - Thousands of protesters gathered in the Thai capital Bangkok on Wednesday to demand reform of the monarchy and the release of jailed leaders, days after one of the most violent demonstrations since they began last year.
Thailand’s youth protest movement emerged last year and has posed the biggest challenge to the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army chief who seized power in 2014 from an elected government.
More than 30 civilians and police were injured in a clash at a protest near the palace on Saturday, after police used water cannon, teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the rally.
The protesters have also demanded curbs to the power of King Maha Vajiralongkorn and the abolition of a strict lese majeste law that mandates up to 15 years in prison for insulting the monarchy.
Protesters on Wednesday peacefully occupied one of Bangkok’s busiest street intersections and cheered as some leaders demanded monarchy reforms and called for their “friends” to be freed from jail.