Children charged under junta law
TWO eight-year-old girls have been charged under a draconian Thai junta law for tearing down voter lists for an upcoming referendum, police said on July 23, as authorities go to increasingly bizarre lengths to muzzle dissent.
The junta is determined to see a charter it drafted pass in the August 7 polls and has outlawed critical discussion of the document with a 10-year prison sentence.
Campaigning of any kind is also banned and authorities have already arrested or warned scores of people for handing out critical leaflets or wearing “Vote No” T-shirts.
The eight-year-olds fell foul of the law after confessing this week to tearing down voter lists outside a school in northern Thailand because they liked the paper’s pink colour.
The pair have been charged with “obstructing the referendum process, destroying official documents and destroying common public property”. –