Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O’Cha has declared a Declaration of a Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok at 4:00 AM today, October 15, following an overnight protest in front of the Government House.
The Declaration of a Serious Emergency Situation has banned any big gatherings of over 5 people or more and publication of media that could create a misunderstanding that will affect national security or peace and order.
According to the notification, it is implemented due to the increasing disorder around the emergency decree to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus and the obstruction of the royal motorcade yesterday.
Riot police marched in with shields to disperse the pro-democracy demonstrators in the early hours shortly after the announcement. Protest leaders alleged they had already announced the end of the rally and a large number of protesters had already left the area.
At least 20 protesters were reportedly arrested, including three major protest leaders named as Arnon Nampa, Parit “Penguin” Chirawat, and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul during a police crackdown.
Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Piya Tawichai said the protest leaders were taken to Border Patrol Police Region 1 in Pathum Thani under the severe state of emergency in which police can detain them without charges for up to 30 days.
Prior to the arrest, the leaders also allegedly told the demonstrators to regroup in Bangkok later today without any presence of their leaders. It is unclear if this will still occur as it is now declared illegal. Over two thousand police are in the area stated and have reportedly said they will arrest anyone who breaks the Declaration of a Serious Emergency Situation.