Thailand protests: Police deploy water cannon and tear gas in Bangkok – BBC News

Police have used water cannon and tear gas against thousands of demonstrators marching through Bangkok

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The growing pro-democracy movement has been calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha – the former army chief who seized power in a 2014 coup and was later appointed as premier after controversial elections last year.

Disillusioned by years of military rule, protesters are demanding amendments to the constitution, a new election and an end to the harassment of rights activists and state critics.

They are also calling for curbs on the king’s powers – a demand that has led to unprecedented public discussion of an institution long shielded from criticism by law.

Thailand’s lese-majeste law, which forbids insults to the monarchy, is among the strictest in the world. Those found guilty of breaching it face up to 15 years in jail. Critics say it is used to suppress free speech.

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