Thai military orders Amnesty International to stop activities on Gaza

The Thai junta has ordered the Amnesty International Thailand to stop its activities in Bangkok and Chiang Mai calling for peace in the Gaza Strip, citing martial law. 
 
In a letter to AI members, issued Friday, AI Thailand said military officers in northern Chiang Mai Province called them and “asked” AI to call off the planned gathering and seminar at a bookstore in the province on 17 August on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and human rights. The officers said the activity violated the order of junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) which prohibits public assemblies of more than five people and concerned politics. 
 
Earlier on 10 August, AI Thailand had organized an activity at Chatuchak weekend market calling for peace in the Gaza Strip. Even though market officials had approved AI’s request to use the market for the activity, it was interrupted and later called off after police came and told AI staff and volunteers that they were breaching martial law. The police were informed that the activity had nothing to do with Thai politics, but still insisted that they must stop the activity, according to a source.
 
The AI added in the letter that it has submitted letters to the NCPO, the Foreign Ministry and the Royal Thai Police to ask for clarification. 
 
In late July, leaders of a Muslim group had to report to the junta after organizing a gathering calling for peace in Gaza in front of the Israeli Embassy.