Former Thai premier denies role in bomb attacks

Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra denied on Friday that she or her political allies were responsible for last week's deadly bomb attack after accusations by analysts and on social media. 

Speaking to reporters Yingluck maintained that neither she nor her brother Thaksin played "any part in last week's attacks" and called for a speedy investigation into them.

"We consider this slander and our legal teams will be pursuing legal action against those making such claims," she said.

After attacks across the country last week which left four people dead and over 30 injured, supporters of the military junta had pointed fingers at Yingluck and her brother. 

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda both gave cryptic interviews asking rhetorically which group "would have the most to gain from weakening the economy and national security."

"The people responsible for [the bombings] were against the constitution," said Chakthip. 

Yingluck's government was ousted by a military coup in 2014. Over the last several months she had campaigned against a military-drafted constitution which was approved in a referendum at the beginning of August, calling it undemocratic.

Meanwhile, the United Nations expressed concern on Friday over the "continued, mounting constraints on the democratic space" in the country and called for a return to civilian rule.

The restrictions on freedom of expression that were imposed after the 2014 military coup have increased leading up the referendum this month, said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

Since June, at least 115 people have been arrested or charged for expressing their opinion on the draft constitution.

"We urge Thailand to immediately drop all charges against political activists and human rights defenders, and to release those jailed for voicing dissent on the draft charter in the run-up to the referendum," Shamdasani said.

Last update: Fri, 19/08/2016 - 22:07

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