Daniel Ten Kate and Suttinee Yuvejwattana
April 7, 2010
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared martial law in the capital after protesters stormed parliament, testing the army’s willingness to break up four weeks of mostly peaceful demonstrations.
About 3,000 people entered the gates of Parliament for about two hours and thousands more occupied Bangkok’s commercial district for a fifth day. The emergency decree bans gatherings of more than five people, allows detention without charge and gives soldiers immunity from prosecution.
“The law doesn’t mean we aim to crack down or hurt people, especially innocent people,” Abhisit said in a televised address. “The nation has been severely affected by the protests and the government needs to rectify the situation.”