JAKARTA, 22 May 2015 – In the year since the Thai military staged a coup to overthrow the elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand has witnessed the entrenchment of authoritarianism and its new leaders have increasingly reneged on their international human rights obligations, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said today.
Since the coup on 22 May 2014, about a hundred pro-democracy activists have fled the country because they may end up in jails due to political charges. Aum Neko, a provocative transgender activist, fled to France after the coup and is beginning her new life. Aum tells about her long-term plan abraod and how she will continue to campaign for the Thai democracy.
On 22 May 2014, the military clique in the name of “National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)” seized power from the Yingluck Shinawatra government citing as its pretext the incessant violence which has led to massive casualties among people and damage to properties, hence the seizure of the power to stem the destructive causes.
An anti-junta group plans to file charges against the Thai junta leader and his associates for instigating rebellion to topple the constitution.
The Crown Property Bureau (CPB) is one of Thailand’s most revered yet opaque financial institutions. In recent years, however, there have been moves, including by the CPB itself, to increase transparency and discussion of the CPB in the public sphere. Most recently, at a March seminar sponsored by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, Associate Professor Dr.
With uncertainty about whether the Thai junta will hold a public referendum on the draft constitution or impose it without public consent, alternative media outlets and think tanks in Thailand came together to open an online forum titled ‘Prachamati’ (referendum) to let people speak their mind about the draft constitution which is currently being debated by the junta’s National Reform Council (NRC).
In May 2014 Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha stated that he wanted “to create an enabling environment that would facilitate the holding of elections” which “ will be free and fair, so that [it] can become a solid foundation for a complete Thai democracy”. Unfortunately in practice the human rights situation in Thailand is moving in the opposite direction and every action by the military government seems to have the specific purpose of silencing dissent and eliminating any effective opposition.
In November 2014, a transgender student activist was arrested and briefly detained for flashing a three-fingered salute at the ‘Hunger Games 3’ movie premiere in central Bangkok as a symbolic protest against the junta. Since then, she has become one of the best-known figures in the political movement against the junta. Prachatai talked to her about why she chose to stand against the regime despite all the risks that this entailed.
On 20 March 2015, martial law, which had been in force since May 2014, was finally revoked. However, instead of returning Thailand to civilian rule as it had promised, the Thai junta replaced martial law with its new protocol, Section 44 of the Interim Charter, which significantly broadens its authority while still retaining the power to crush political dissents with arrests and detentions.
It is a rare occasion when the lifting of martial law is met with unprecedented alarm and condemnation. Yet, this is exactly what happened when the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) lifted Martial Law on 1 April, after being in place for more than 10 months in Thailand.