Thai authorities detain 1,000 migrant farm workers on suspicion of ‘sedition’

HONG KONG — Thailand’s authorities on Tuesday detained more than 1,100 migrant farmworkers suspected of “sedition,” in the latest crackdown on dissent.

A police spokesman said the workers, including farmers, were arrested for allegedly attempting to topple the government by gathering on public lands near the Thai capital, Bangkok.

They were detained from March 5 through April 9, the spokesman said, declining to elaborate.

The spokesman said no charges were filed.

The government has not commented on the case.

The workers were arrested on March 5 in the central region of Hari in Hanoi province, after police said they were protesting on public land near the city’s main train station.

A protester later threw rocks and firecrackers at the police.

He was eventually captured and brought before the police headquarters, where he was formally charged with “sabotage and unlawful assembly.”

The charges are not punishable by jail time.

The authorities did not say what prompted the charges or whether they were linked to recent protests against the government.

The country has seen a rise in public protests in recent months, as a growing number of poor people in a rapidly urbanizing nation struggle with rising rents and food prices.

Activists have accused Thailand of turning a blind eye to social unrest, which has spread from the rural southern part of the country to Bangkok and other major cities.