Rally in Bangkok Seeks Pardon for Ousted Premier

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BANGKOK (Agence France-Presse) — About 17,000 people rallied in here on Saturday to demand that the Thai government move forward with a petition for a royal pardon for former Primer Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in 2006.

Thai authorities deployed 2,000 police officers and invoked a harsh internal security law to ensure that the rally in front of the government offices did not turn violent.

The demonstrators, known as “red shirts,” want the government to speed up the process of their petition, which they say at least 3.5 million people signed in support of Mr. Thaksin. He fled Thailand in 2008 to escape a two-year jail term for corruption.

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