Police Planning to Charge Youth Protest Leaders

Anti-government protests on July 18, 2020.

BANGKOK — Police on Monday said they were gathering evidence to press charges against leaders of Saturday’s anti-government protest.

Lt. Gen. Pakkapong Pongpetra, chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said that the activist group calling itself “Free Youth,” which led a Saturday protest on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, could be charged under the Emergency Decree, communicable diseases laws, and traffic violations.

Pakkapong said that he could not disclose at the moment which individuals broke which laws, as the case is currently under investigation.

He said the protestors should “take citizens’ inconvenience into account” and warned that police are prepared to “maintain order” in the event of a future protest.


The protest drew about 2,500 people according to media reports and was considered as the largest political gathering since the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

Large assemblies are currently banned under several laws, including the Emergency Decree, which was imposed by the government on the grounds of combating the pandemic.

Police spokesman Kissana Pattanacharoen also said that a planned protest in front of the Royal Thai Army Headquarters was “worrisome because of a third party” that could instigate violence.


“Police have no conflict with the protestors,” Col. Kissana said. “We have to do our duty in taking care of the protestors’ safety and public order.”

The Saturday protest was monitored by Special Branch Bureau police, Technology Crime Suppression Division police, and police officers from Samranrat, Nang Loeng, and Chana Songkhram police stations.

The protest organizers demand the government resign and hold a new election.