Thailand court releases 9 opposition protest leaders

Thailand court releases 9 opposition protest leaders

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[JURIST] A Thai court on Tuesday released on bail seven “red shirt” [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] opposition leaders detained during anti-government protests [JURIST news archive] that began last March. The leaders were arrested last spring on terrorism charges [AFP report] during the demonstrations. During their detention, red shirts organized peaceful rallies calling for the opposition leaders to be released. Red shirt supporters applauded the court’s decision, as supporters waited outside of the prison for the defendants to be released. Thailand’s political system remains unstable following the violence and protests in Bangkok.

Last month, Thailand’s red shirt pro-democracy movement petitioned [press release] the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to launch a preliminary investigation [JURIST report] into whether the government committed crimes against humanity during the protests last spring. In August, a group of opposition leaders pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to charges of terrorism in connection with the recent political violence, as the government partially lifted the state of emergency that has been in place since May.