Thai court frees student constitution protesters

A court in Thailand has ordered the release of seven students who were arrested last month for distributing leaflets urging people to vote against a proposed new constitution in a referendum next month.

An observer for the legal aid group iLaw, Yingcheep Atchanont, said the Bangkok Military Court ordered their release Tuesday because police had already completed their investigation of the June 23 protest. They still face several charges pending prosecutors' acceptance of the case.

The Aug. 7 referendum is on a constitution drafted under the military government that took power in a May 2014 coup. Critics say the draft is undemocratic, but are restrained from campaigning against it by very restrictive laws that could send them to prison for 10 years.