Protest leaders charged
Thai authorities have escalated their legal battle against the students leading prodemocracy protests, charging 12 of them with violating a harsh lawagainst defaming the monarchy. The studentswant Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and his government to step down, the Thai constitution amended to make it more democratic, and the monarchy reformed to make it more accountable. The charges are punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The lawhas not been employed for three years, after King Maha Vajiralongkorn informed the government that he did not wish to see its use. The king has not publicly commented on the lawsince then.