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Thailand activist and serial hunger-striker files charges against junta leader

Published on Jun 10, 2014 7:04 PM
 
Retired navy lieutenant and serial hunger striker Chalad Vorachat gestures as he sits on the steps of the criminal court in Bangkok on June 10, 2014. A Thai political activist who has started a hunger strike in protest against last month's coup filed charges on Tuesday against junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha and members of the ruling military council for defaming the monarchy and acts of treason. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai political activist who has started a hunger strike in protest against last month's coup filed charges on Tuesday against junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha and members of the ruling military council for defaming the monarchy and acts of treason.

Mr Chalad Vorachat, a retired navy lieutenant and serial hunger striker, argues in a complaint filed with a Bangkok criminal court that the army intervention based on Thailand's Martial Law Act had a shaky legal basis. "In order to announce martial law, the country must be at war or there must be a violent conflict. Permission must also be granted by the prime minister and the monarch," Mr Chalad told reporters outside the court. "But soldiers pushed ahead with seizing power anyway."

But the court later rejected Mr Chalad's lawsuit, saying he had not personally incurred losses because of the military's action.

General Prayuth took power on May 22, saying the army needed to restore order after nearly seven months of political turmoil when protesters occupied areas of Bangkok to try to force out the government of Yingluck Shinawatra and wipe out the influence of her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

 
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