The right to freedom of expression under the military junta all year round of 2015 remains critical. The restrictions seemed to be a bit relaxed the middle of the year, but as the year is drawing to its close, it has become dramatically serious. Attitude adjustment continues to be the common tactic used, though the format has changed from summoning for a meeting to visiting the persons at home.
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.
With uncertainty about whether the Thai junta will hold a public referendum on the new charter draft or impose it without public consent, alternative media outlets and think tanks in Thailand came together on 8 May 2015 to officially open an online forum to let people speak their minds about the draft constitution which is currently being debated in the junta’s National Reform Council (NRC).
Martial Law as anounced on 20 May 2014 was lifted on Wednesday night and was immediately replaced by Order number 3/2558 (3/2015) issued by General Prayuth Chan-ocha in his capacity as Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
Almost all of the suspects in cases related to former royal consort face lèse-majesté. Unlike the political dissidents hunted down by the junta for their political speeches allegedly defaming the monarchy, claims about the monarchy for personal gain may not be deemed as “defaming, insulting, or threatening," What are the standards for this?
On 25 May 2014, three days after seizing the ruling power, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) issued the Announcement no.
Lèse majesté cases under Article 112 of the Criminal Code have gained much attention. Hot debates have flared up every time the Court hands down verdicts on such cases and the opinions expressed tend to be highly polarized. Part of the online debate is harbored to support a notion that “Lèse majesté is a bad law, it should be revoked”.
Interview with the Phuketwan journalists who face charges for reporting the trafficking of Rohingya refugees
Local NGO iLaw and Movie Audience Network have organized a film competition to defy the problematic 2007 Film and Video Act that critics say creates censorship in the film industry.
At present, Thailand’s right to freedom of expression is subjected to numerous regulations. It should be noted that all of the applicable laws to regulate freedom of expression in Thailand have been drafted and enacted by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) installed after the 19 September 2006 military coup.