Thai students have been demonstrating for weeks against General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government. In addition, despite a series of warnings, 200 students have also found a creative way out to express their dissatisfaction with King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
During a protest in Bangkok, which took place on Monday, the students demanded reforms of the monarchy of King Vajiralongkorn. That protest was launched under a Harry Potter theme, in which they called for a fight with ‘He-Who-May Not Be Named’.
By giving it a creative side, the demonstrators could not be accused of criticizing the king. Defamation of the monarchy is forbidden by the Thai ‘lese majeste’ law and can result in a prison sentence of 15 years. Although the name of the king was not pronounced, it was clear who was referred to.
Of the 200 demonstrators, many were dressed as the fictitious sorcerer Harry Potter. In this way, they referred to overcoming injustices under the military-supported government.
Lawyer Anon Nampa (34) has accused the palace of increasingly assuming powers that undermined democracy and that it has done nothing against attacks on opponents of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government.
“The government wants the young demonstrators to abide by the laws so that they can continue to exercise their rights and keep the country peaceful,” Deputy Spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek said. The Royal Palace has not yet responded to the criticism.
It is not uncommon for Thai protesters to use a creative way to get around the law. They do this by, among other things, referring to films and songs.
In recent weeks, students have been called on several occasions to show respect for the monarchy and not to break the law.