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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Safe Travel

Following recent student protests, Thailand’s Government has announced the Declaration of Severe Emergency Situation in Bangkok, effective from 4.00 am on Thursday 15 October (local time). The Emergency Declaration provides increased powers for arrests and seizure of property. Restrictions include:

·    a ban on gatherings of 5 or more people at any place or any act which may cause unrest; 

·    prohibition on press releases, distribution or dissemination of letters, publication or any means of communication containing texts which may “instigate fear among the people, or distorted news which may affect national security”, and

·    the prohibition of the use of some routes or vehicles and buildings.

Any large gathering is likely to be considered by the authorities to be in breach of the new Emergency Declaration, and Government authorities may therefore seek to disperse it. 

Given a heightened risk of disruption and potential unrest around any rallies while the Emergency Declaration is in force, we strongly advise New Zealanders to avoid the Ratchaprasong Intersection area.  We continue to advise New Zealanders to avoid any protests, demonstrations, and large gatherings as they have the potential to become disorderly, or possibly violent with little notice.

New Zealanders in Bangkok are also advised to exercise caution and monitor the media to stay informed of developments and comply with any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities. 

There are strong ‘lese majeste’ laws in place in Thailand.  These laws make it a criminal offence to criticise or defame the monarchy in any form, including on social media.  These laws are strictly enforced in Thailand and we strongly advise New Zealanders in Thailand to refrain from making any public statements and/or take actions on social media that breach Thai laws.

New Zealanders in Thailand requiring consular assistance can contact the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok on +66 2 254 2530 or e-mail info@newzealandembassybkk.com or the MFAT consular emergency after-hours number on + 64 99 20 20 20. Read our full travel advisory here.

We encourage all New Zealanders living and travelling overseas to register with us on SafeTravel. This allows us to contact you in an emergency situation, send important travel information, or provide consular assistance while you are overseas.

 

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