Former military leader and now Thailand’s civilian Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha waves as he leaves the Government House in Bangkok [File: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters]

Bangkok, Thailand – Democracy activists in Thailand have been the target of increasing physical assaults and intimidation since the March elections – the first since 2014’s military coup – that led to the return of military leader Prayuth Chan-Ocha to power.

Sirawith ‘Janew’ Seritiwat, one of the most recognisable faces in the Southeast Asian nation’s youth-led democracy movements, was attacked earlier this month after he initiated a petition urging upper house senators not to support Prayuth as prime minister.

The 27-year-old says five unidentified men rushed at him from behind, beating him with wooden sticks.

“I think the attackers had

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