Public Assembly Act
“Article 12. Political gatherings of five or more persons, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding 10,000 baht, or both, unless permission has been granted by the Head of the NCPO or an authorized representative.”
There are two main components of a public assembly, according to the Public Assembly Act of 2015 or the ‘assembly prohibition law’. The first relates to the type of ‘activity’ according to Article 3 [], which states the kind of activities that fall within the scope of this law and which must be reported in advance to the responsible officials before they are eligible for protection and facilitation for the assembly to take place.
Seven individuals have been prosecuted in Pattaya for joining a pro-election protest in early March.
The 39 pro-election protesters have reported to the police to hear the charges against them. The courts released them without bail. On 8 February 2018, 34 out of the 39 pro-election protesters known as the MBK 39 reported to Pathumwan Police Station to hear the charges against them. The junta accused the group of joining a public assembly on 27 January within 150 meters of a royal site, in violation of Article 7 of the 2015 Public Assembly Act.
A network of Thai scholars has launched a fundraising campaign to seek two million baht to bail the 39 pro-election protesters. The junta has also filed another charge against them of violating the ban on political gatherings. On 6 February 2018, Nuttha Mahattana, one of the protesters, revealed that the group has to find over 2,000,000 baht as bail for the 39.
Bangkok police have summoned 39 participants in last weekend’s political campaign, which urged the junta to step down.
A public prosecutor has halted an attempt by the authorities to prosecute a villager who peacefully protested against a potash mining project in Sakon Nakhon, part of a long history of suppressing opposition to mining projects in rural Thailand. On 21 December 2017, a public prosecutor at Sawang Daen Din Provincial Court decided not to indict Achittaphon Khukasang, a member of Wanon Niwat Environmental Conservation Group, for violating the Public Assembly Act. According to
The prosecutor has charged seven anti-mine activists in Isaan with breaking the public assembly law and intimidating public officials. On 25 July 2017, the prosecutor indicted seven members of the anti-mine activist group Khon Rak Ban Koed (KRBK) (translated as ‘People Who Love Their Home’) from six villages in Wang Saphung District of the northeastern province of Loei. The seven are Phonthip Hongchai, Ranong Kongsaen, Wiron Ruchichaiwat, Suphat Khunna, Bunraeng Sithong, Mon Khunna, and Lamphloen Rueangrit.
In the three years since the 2014 coup d’état, the regime has disrupted 157 public events, most for being politically sensitive. According to iLaw, a human rights advocacy group, from the day of the military coup d’état on 22 May 2014 until 10 July 2017, the junta has disrupted at least 157 public events.
Police officers and soldiers have barred villagers from joining a march in Bangkok protesting amendment to the National Health Security Act. On 6 June 2017, the People's Health Systems Movement (PHSM) staged a protest at the office of the United Nations in Bangkok demanding the junta cease efforts to amend the National Health Security Act that threaten to abolish Thailand’s universal healthcare, also known as the "Gold Card" m