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Thailand charges six protesters after anti-coup march turns violent

[JURIST] Bangkok police spokesperson Supisarn Bhakdinaruenart said Monday that six anti-coup protesters involved in Sunday's clash with police [AP report] have been charged with disturbing the peace, injuring police, and destroying government property. The clash erupted after approximately 5,000 protesters, consisting of supporters of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile] and anti-coup activists, were prevented from marching to the home of Prem Tinsulanonda [official website], a retired army general who was allegedly involved in planning last September's coup [JURIST report].

The anti-coup protesters also voiced their opposition to the interim-government's proposed draft constitution [JURIST report], which is scheduled for a general referendum on August 19. Interim Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont [official profile; BBC profile] has ordered government officials to promote support for the draft [Bangkok Post report], and the National Legislative Assembly [Wikipedia backgrounder] is expected to pass legislation later this month to penalize opposition to the referendum. If the draft constitution is rejected by popular referendum, military leaders are authorized under the interim constitution to revise an earlier constitution. AFP has more.

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