Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the measure was necessary because the protests were illegal and affected efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The state of emergency came into effect at 04.00 local time. Gathering in groups of more than five people and publishing online news or messages that may endanger national security, the content of which may create fear or distort information, is prohibited.
The Thai government said the restrictions were also justified by the blocking of a royal column during Wednesday’s protests, which were seen as a serious threat to state security and public and private security and property.
Thousands of protesters marched on Wednesday in Bangkok’s government building, demanding Prayut’s resignation and reform of the Thai monarchy. Many of the demonstrators withdrew before midnight after police warned they would be forcibly removed. However, some stayed overnight in front of the building complex where the prime minister’s office is located.
Protesters were arrested before sunrise, and police reported clashes, but no one was injured.
Leaders of the protest movement demanding the resignation of the prime minister and the reform of the constitution, accusing the monarchy of being anti-democratic, have been arrested, writes The Guardian.
At the same time, as a result of the emergency order, the publication of news that could harm national security was banned.
Thailand is already on high alert due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the prime minister issued a new decree, while police arrested more than 20 people.
According to the new decree, gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited.
On Wednesday, in the center of the capital Bangkok, the convoy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn was blocked by the crowd of protesters who showed him the salute of the “Hunger Games”, the raising of the three fingers, which became the symbol of the anti-government movement.
Despite the decree, protesters said they would continue to take to the streets to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the reform of the constitution.