Thailand threatens to deport protesters
Thai authorities have threatened to deport foreign activists coming to Bangkok to disrupt the relay of the Beijing Olympic torch.Updated: Apr 17, 2008 20:43 IST
Thai authorities could deport foreign activists coming to Bangkok to disrupt the relay of the Beijing Olympic torch, the national police spokesman said on Thursday.
The Olympic flame, which has faced embarrassing protests in Europe and the United States, will arrive in Thailand from India in the early hours Friday morning , and will be paraded through Bangkok's Chinatown on Saturday.
Lieutenant General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, the police spokesman, said Thailand was ready to revoke visas, prosecute and deport any overseas nationals planning illegal actions to protest China's human rights record.
"If they are coming here and engaging in unlawful acts, they must be prosecuted ... If they engage in illegal activity, we will proceed according to the law by revoking their visa," he told AFP.
"We have prepared everything to ensure the smoothness of the ceremony."
He did not say exactly which acts would warrant deportation, but the Thai government has previously said it accepts the right to peaceful protest.
Thai authorities expect a largely trouble-free outing for the flame after high-security legs of the torch relay in Pakistan and India, but said they have plans in place in case of disruptions.
"Intelligence is focusing on movement of overseas non-governmental organisations, particularly from western countries," said Akapol Sorasuchart, secretary to the deputy prime minister.