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Thailand anti-coup protest organizers released on bail

[JURIST] A Thai court Monday released on bail six leaders of the July 22 anti-coup protest with the condition that they would not engage in activities that may increase "strife within society" or instigate violence. The defendants, anti-coup academics and supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile], were arrested as part of an ongoing police investigation of protests that turned violent [AP report] after approximately 5,000 protesters 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]. Thai police had sought to extend its detention of the protest leaders [JURIST report], but their request to keep them in custody for another 12 days was denied by the court.

The anti-coup protesters have 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]. If the draft constitution is rejected by popular referendum, military leaders are authorized under the interim constitution to revise an earlier constitution. AP has more.

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