11 July 2024

The Thai Civil Court today (Friday) dismissed a plea for restrictions on public gatherings to be lifted, submitted by Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) and two Ratsadon anti-establishment protesters.

In the petition, the trio, including two who are facing charges for defying the state of emergency, asked the court to revoke the restrictions on public gatherings, claiming that they are were intended to prevent people from attending political gatherings and not to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They also demanded compensation from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and five others.

The court said that COVID-19 infections are still spreading, despite the restrictions issued by the prime minister by virtue of the Emergency Decree and intended to limit further impacts on the country’s economy.

Responding to the claim by the petitioners that there is no solid evidence to prove that public gatherings cause the spread of the disease, the court said that the gatherings of many people for any reason risk the spread of the disease.

The court cited the petitioners’ remarks that they had to wear face masks and clean their hands with sanitizer during their protests as an indication that there is a need to enforce social distancing to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading.

Finally, the court ruled that there is insufficient justification in the petition for the court to suspend the restrictions and decided to dismiss the plea.