Photo-op: Amnesty International urges Thai government to immediately drop unjustified charges against peaceful protest leader 

OTTAWA – On Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, Amnesty International will hold a photo-op outside the Royal Thai Embassy in Ottawa urging authorities in Thailand to immediately drop all criminal charges against leading youth activist Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, and others arrested for peaceful protests.  

Panusaya is a student activist leader who has risen to prominence for her advocacy work promoting freedom of expression, equality, and – a highly sensitive topic in Thailand – the reform of the monarchy. Authorities have repeatedly detained her and denied her bail. She now faces a charge of lèse majesté for wearing a crop top in protest at criminal charges against another demonstrator. In the lead-up to Panusaya’s next court date on Nov. 26, Amnesty International activists are staging demonstrations at Thai embassies around the world, calling on authorities to drop her unjustified charges. 

Panusaya is among more than 1,000 peaceful protesters – including students, youth, and dozens of children – who face criminal charges in Thailand since demonstrations started ramping up in July 2020. Many are at risk of lengthy sentences, including prison terms up to life imprisonment, as officials abuse vaguely worded security legislation and COVID-19 emergency powers to restrict peaceful dissent.  

Rung is also featured in Amnesty International’s 2021 Write for Rights campaign, an annual human rights event that mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people around the world to write letters, sign petitions, and post social media messages in support of those who are facing human rights violations. 

What:Photo-op in solidarity with Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul and other activists in Thailand detained for peaceful protests. 

Location:Royal Thai Embassy, 180 Island Park Dr., Ottawa, Ontario 

Date: Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 

Time: 4 p.m. EST 

*Please note that this photo-op will respect COVID-19 public health guidelines. Photos will be available upon request.* 

Media contacts:Lucy Scholey, Media Relations Officer, Amnesty International Canada (English section), 613-853-2142,  

Ailish Morgan-Welden, National Action Coordinator, Amnesty International Canada (English branch), 647-882-8487,