Oh what a relief. No longer do we have to fear the knock on the door from martial law officers at some ungodly hour of the night. Nor should we worry any more about the hooded journey under martial law to an anonymous military facility where we will be held without charge or trial. And we are now free from the terrible prospect of seven days’ detention under martial law while we have our attitudes forcibly adjusted without the possibility of consulting our family or friends or lawyers or even seeking support and solace from them.
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.
The professional membership of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) shares the concerns expressed by four Thai media organisations over the new powers announced by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) under Article 44 of the interim constitution, as outlined in the report below posted on 2 April on the website of broadcaster Thai PBS. The new order gives military officers sweeping powers to censor the media, with harsh punishments possible for journalists deemed not to be in compliance.
The military have detained 17 people in the restive southern province of Narathiwat with no explanation given. The arrests are believed to be related to last week’s extrajudicial killing of 4 youths.
(New York, April 1, 2015) – Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha is seeking to invoke a constitutional provision that would give him unlimited powers without safeguards against human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today.
The military court has again postponed the trial of a suspect charged with defying an order of the junta in 2014 due to the repeated absence of the first prosecution witness. The military court on Friday morning postponed examination of a prosecution witness in a case where Sirapop (family name withheld due to privacy concerns) was charged with defying the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Announcement No. 41/2014 for not reporting to the coup-maker in May 2014.
The Thai military forced labour unionists to remove pro-election stickers and placards at a monthly rally. Around six military officers on Saturday morning inspected cars which belong to Rangsit and Area Labour Union members at the rally in Pathum Thani Province, north of Bangkok, and ordered the union members to remove the A4 stickers which simply read ‘election’.
(New York, March 19, 2015) – Thai authorities should promptly and impartially investigate the alleged torture of suspects while they were held incommunicado in military custody, Human Rights Watch said today.
Investigation of alleged torture against suspects of the Criminal Court Bomb urged, Martial Law must be lifted For immediate release on 17 March 2015