Amnesty: Thai Children May Face Prison After Protests

Image copyright: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Human Rights NGO Amnesty International on Wednesday reported that almost 300 children in Thailand have faced criminal charges, including sedition, for their role in the 2020 pro-democracy protests that called for political reforms to Thailand’s monarchy.

  • Over 200 criminal charges are still active, with 17 minors reportedly facing up to 15 years in prison per charge for violating laws that make defaming, insulting, or threatening members of the royal family a crime.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Thailand's history of authoritarianism and human rights violations extends far past the 2020 protests, but these arrests of and criminal charges against children are a new low. As the long arm of the Thai monarchy, in coordination with the Prime Minister, continues its crackdown on speech both in the streets and online, it's up to the global community to step up and call for drastic political change.

Establishment-critical narrative

As is the case in Myanmar, the Philippines, and throughout the East, US-funded media outlets are drawing previously non-existent divisions between segments of sovereign nations. First, they pitted Buddhists against Muslims, and now they're pitting so-called "pro-democracy" children against their parents and government. Reports like this aren't trying to bring about democracy, but are creating conflict so that the US can eventually intervene militarily and continue its long history of colonizing the region.

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