Thailand cracks down on protesters: A timeline of events

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Tens of thousands of Thai protesters cheered and chanted into the night in central Bangkok on Thursday in a show of mass defiance to a ban on demonstrations designed to end more than three months of anti-government action.
Thai police standing guard while royalist supporters (in yellow shirt) faced with the anti-government protesters in Bangkok, on Oct 14, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand ordered emergency measures on Thursday (Oct 15) against protesters who have demanded the removal of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, a former junta leader, and called for reforms of King Maha Vajiralongkorn's monarchy.

Below is a timeline of events since Prayut was appointed prime minister after an election in March 2019. Prayut rejects accusations the electoral laws were fixed in his favour.

June 9, 2019

The King endorses Prayut as prime minister, keeping him in the post he first took in a 2014 coup.

Nov 20

Constitutional court disqualifies vocal opposition figure Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit as a member of Parliament, saying he violated electoral law. He disputes the ruling.

Dec 14

Several thousand protesters demonstrate in Bangkok to protest against Thanathorn's disqualification and the moves to ban his Future Forward party.

Feb 21, 2020

Constitutional court bans Future Forward.

The next day, hundreds of people join a protest against the decision.

March 26

Authorities impose a state of emergency to stop the spread of the coronavirus, limiting gatherings and travel.

July 18

The Free Youth group draws about 2,500 to a protest in Bangkok and makes three demands: dissolve parliament, amend the constitution and stop harassing critics.

Aug 3

Human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa makes an unprecedented call for reform of the monarchy at a protest with a Harry Potter theme.

Aug 10

Students at Thammasat University list 10 demands for reforming the monarchy, including abolition of lese majeste law against criticising the King.

Aug 16

More than 10,000 people join a protest at Bangkok's Democracy Monument.

Sept 19

Tens of thousands protest in the biggest demonstration since the 2014 coup, cheering calls for reforms to the monarchy as well as for the removal of Prayut.

Sept 20

Protesters install a plaque near the Grand Palace in Bangkok with the message that Thailand belongs to the people and not to the monarch. It was removed the next day.

Sept 24

Thai Parliament votes to delay considering changes to constitution.

Oct 13

Protesters scuffle with police and chant at the King's passing motorcade to demand the release of 21 arrested protesters.

Oct 14

Tens of thousands of protesters march to Prayut's offices, Government House, and set up camp to demand his removal. Police fend off jeering protesters as Queen Suthida's convoy passes close to them.

Oct 15

Government orders emergency measures that include bans on gatherings of five or more people and on news that could affect national security.

Police clear protesters from Government House and arrest several protest leaders among more than 20 people held.

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