Human rights groups condemn junta’s new power tool

Human rights groups denounced the Thai junta’s new law which broadens its authority in all branches of governance, saying that it is against democracy and human rights.   

On 7 April 2015, the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) together with networks of pro-democracy law academics, lawyers, and community activists from southern Thailand issued a public statement against the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 3/2015, which replaced martial law with Section 44 of the Interim Charter in the name of national security.

About 130 people from various organisations, such as the Union of Civil Liberty (UCL) and Network of Southern Thailand’s Academics for Society and Community, signed the statement against the junta’s new power tool and urged the regime to revoke the law.     

The statement pointed out that the invocation of Section 44 goes against the division of governance under the democratic system and human rights principles.

“Granting the NCPO authority over the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of governance is a complete integration of power which is against the separation of state powers to balance and prevent the abuse of power by the rulers,” stated the letter.

The HRLA statement also mentioned allowing that military personnel total control over the judicial system to arrest, invstigate, and try civilians on charges related to national security under Order No. 3/2015 contravenes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Thailand has ratified.

The ICCPR states that state parties have the obligation to adhere to basic principles of human rights, encourage freedom of expression, and promote democracy.

Moreover, the Order gives the junta total control over media and information, which is against human rights and democracy, the HRLA added.