Thai Protests: Government Instructs Block Telegrams

Bangkok, MINA – Thai authorities have reportedly ordered internet providers to block the messaging app Telegram, which has been used by anti-government protesters.

The government’s plan to block Telegram was reported by local media on Monday after a document marked “top secret” was leaked and shared widely on social media, the BBC reported.

Telegram is a popular secure messaging app that has been used by activists to organize protests in record time.

Police also threatened to close four news outlets for violating a decision issued last week to end protests.

Pro-democracy activists have held months of protests calling for the resignation of the prime minister and curbing the rule of the monarchy.

Members of the student-led movement have continued to gather to oppose orders banning protests and want Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former military commander who seized power in a 2014 coup, to step down.

Their demands for reform have since grown, including questioning the role of the monarchy, an institution long held sacred in Thailand.

Authorities have failed to stop protests since they issued emergency orders on Thursday, with protesters still gathering daily, mostly peacefully, in Bangkok and other parts of the country.

At least 80 people have been arrested since Tuesday. Those detained risk long sentences if convicted of violating Thailand’s strict lese majeste law, which prohibits criticism of the monarchy. Anyone found breaking the law can be jailed for up to 15 years. (T/R7/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)