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Thanathorn Accused of Insulting Monarchy for Skywalk Rally

BANGKOK — A pro-government activist on Monday urged police to prosecute Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on suspicions that he defamed the monarchy.

For holding a mass anti-government protest on Saturday, Sonthiya Sawasdi from Phalang Pracharath Party accused Thanathorn of breaching Section 6 of the constitution, which states that the monarchy must be revered and cannot be violated. Police also reportedly filed charges against Thanathorn over the rally, which drew thousands.

Sonthiya did not elaborate on the allegation, but said Thanathorn should also be charged with sedition and violating a law on public assembly.

“I agree with freedom of expression, but a demonstration cannot interfere with ordinary people,” Sonthiya said after filing his complaint at Pathumwan Police Station.

“I believe people from all over the country don’t want to see a protest,” he said, adding that his actions were of his own accord and do not represent the Phalang Pracharath Party.

Thairath newspaper also reported that Pathumwan Police has filed three criminal charges against Thanathorn related to Saturday’s rally. They include organizing a protest without notifying local authorities, using a loudspeaker without permission, and resisting law enforcement officers.

The latter charge was filed in connection with a scuffle between the protesters and police officers at the rally.

Police and government officials previously warned Thanathorn that he could face legal repercussions if he or his supporters break any laws during the protest.

Future Forward Party spokeswoman and Pathumwan Police chief could not be reached for comment as of publication time.

The charge of unauthorized protest was also filed against organizers of a similar rally in Chiang Mai province on Saturday. The rally was held in solidarity with the gathering in Bangkok at the time.

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