Court Bans Violence Against Thai Protesters
Rejects govt. orders on gatherings as demonstrations continue
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 19, 2014 12:47 PM CST
Soldiers stand guard as protesters stage a rally outside a temporary office of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, on the outskirts of Bangkok, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014.   (Wason Wanichakorn)
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(Newser) – A Thai court ordered the government today not to use force against protesters who are seeking to oust the prime minister, a day after violent clashes between riot police and demonstrators left five people dead and dozens injured. The Civil Court ruled that some orders issued by the prime minister and a special security command center under an emergency decree violate protesters' constitutional rights. The prohibited orders include bans on gatherings of five or more people, on entering certain buildings, and on the use of certain roads. The court, however, rejected a protester's request that it revoke a state of emergency, saying it was within the executive branch's power to enforce such a law.

Today, thousands of protesters surrounded Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's temporary office in Bangkok's northern outskirts to demand her resignation. The demonstrators asked officials at the Defense Ministry complex to prevent Yingluck from using it as her backup office. She has been unable to enter her regular office compound in downtown Bangkok because it is blocked by protesters and some of its gates have been cemented shut. The demonstrators also vowed to target businesses owned by Yingluck's wealthy family. "Wherever she is, wherever she sleeps, we will go after her," protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban told the crowd.
 

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