Draft Referendum Act
The Thai authorities have searched the homes of leading anti-establishment red shirt figures in northern Thailand in the hunt for the persons who sent letters criticising the junta-sponsored draft charter.
After being forced into taking a so-called ‘attitude adjustment session’ by the military, 19 red shirts accused of breaking the junta’s ban on political gatherings were forced to sign an agreement promising to steer clear of all political activities.
The Thai authorities threatened to sue a human rights institute of one of Thailand’s leading universities over infographics about the public referendum on the draft charter.
Following the announcement of the NCPO that the Constitutional Referendum is to be held on August 7, various groups have expressed their views on Thailand’s draft constitution. Both pro- and anti-draft groups have been running campaigns and expressing their views in public. Unfortunately, however, the NCPO has not been welcoming of the views of both groups.
The military in northern Thailand has confiscated over 3,000 letters allegedly campaigning against the junta-sponsored draft constitution and is now hunting for the senders.
A Provincial Court has freed a Prachatai journalist and pro-democracy activists arrested over campaign leaflets for the draft charter referendum. The Provincial Court of Ratchaburi Province on Monday afternoon, 11 July 2016, granted permission to the police to detain Taweeesak Kerdpoka, a Prachatai journalist, three anti-junta NDM activists, Pakorn Areekul, Anucha Rungmorakot and Anan Loked, and Phanuwat Songsawadchai, a student activist from Maejo University, Phrae campus. However, at around 4:30 pm the court granted bail for each of the five for 140,000 baht.
The Thai police detained seven student activists after failing to force a member of the activist group to remove a t-shirt with a message saying ‘vote no’ in the draft charter referendum. At least five police officers in uniform and plainclothes on Tuesday afternoon, 5 July 2016, detained seven students of an activist group called the Association of Students for Society from Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok.
The Military Court has released the seven embattled democracy activists after detaining them for nearly two weeks. The Military Court of Bangkok at around 3:30 pm on Tuesday, 5 July 2016, refused the police permission to detain the seven activists, most of whom are affiliated with the New Democracy Movement (NDM): Rangsiman Rome, Korakoch Saengyenpan, Thirayut Napnaram, Somsakol Thongsuksai, Yuttana Dasri, Nantapong Panmat and Anan Loket. According to officers from the Department of Corrections, the seven will be released on Wednesday morning.
The Constitutional Court has declared that the controversial Draft Referendum Act is constitutional, citing national peace and order and the unique context of the August referendum, adding that the law actually fosters what it calls ‘social reconciliation.’ On 29 June, the Constitutional Court gave a unanimous ruling that Article 61 of the Referendum A