United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Friday, October 16 said that the UN Human Rights office in Thailand has been "closely" monitoring the ongoing protests in the country. As per reports, Dujarric also said that people should be allowed to demonstrate peacefully.
"We've been monitoring the situation closely. In fact, on the ground our colleagues from the Office of the [United Nations] High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have been observing the protests, routinely engaging with the authorities," said the United Nations spokesperson.
He added, "We have said many times and many places of the world, people have a right to demonstrate freely. They should be allowed to exercise that right, the right to demonstrate freely and peacefully."
Since August, the calls for change have grown to also include reforms to the monarchy, sparking public discussions of an institution long shielded from criticism by law. The wave of demonstration also began after a court-ordered a fledging pro-democracy opposition party to dissolve.
Over the months, there have been regular student-led protests across Thailand. Over the weekend, thousands of protestors have been seen gathering for peaceful demonstrations. The protestors' call for royal reform in Thailand has gained momentum as a criticism of the monarchy is punishable by a long prison sentence.
The protesters also seek rewriting of the constitution, whose amendments in recent years have been disrupted, as well as an end to the harassment of state critics. On Wednesday, protesters even slowed a convoy carrying Queen Suthida, giving the three-finger salute and chanting ‘get out’ at police protecting the vehicle.
The pro-democratic protesters marched to the Government House and promised to stay put until PM Prayuth left. The demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of the Thai Prime Minister, a former army chief who had seized power in the 2014 coup before he was appointed as premier after controversial elections in 2019. Additionally, protesters have also been calling for curbs on the king’s powers.
Inputs: ANI, Image: AP