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Thai junta retains power to detain people without charge

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“… though the junta’s orders are being revoked, their impact will still be felt in society.”

Opposition politicians and the Thai public are voicing dissatisfaction with the junta’s decision to hang on to its order authorising arbitrary military detention.

Even though the junta has announced the revocation of 70+ old NCPO orders, including media intervention and trying cases in military court, critics say there is still room for improvement.

The Future Forward Party secretary-general, and former law professor, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul says that the decision to hang on to some orders was made just before the NCPO is dissolved, because it wants its leader General Prayut Chan-o-cha to have full power until the last minute. He also said that the revocation of 70 old orders was not quite enough.

“The junta is still supported by the Constitution’s Article 279 because it pardons them for all their actions,” adding that Future Forward’s mission is to have this law abolished in order to stop the junta from being above the law.

He also said that, though the junta’s orders are being revoked, their impact will still be felt in society.

The Future Forward Party is looking to launch a motion in Parliament to set up a committee to study all the impacts these orders have had.

“It’s not like we can forget these orders ever existed once they are revoked,” he said.

Pro-rights organisation iLaw, which has been campaigning for the junta to revoke its “announcements” and orders after the election, acknowledged the junta’s move. However, it said the order that allows soldiers to detain people without a charge for seven days and other similar orders that remain are an infringement on people’s rights and freedom.

The organisation said there are some 20 junta orders that must be removed, and it is awaiting Parliament’s approval of the proposal it has submitted with more than 13,000 signatures.

Original story: The Nation

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Politics

Former Pheu Thai chair to challenge legality of State of Emergency

Maya Taylor

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Former Pheu Thai chair to challenge legality of State of Emergency | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Thai politician and former chair of the Pheu Thai Party, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, has confirmed she plans to challenge the legality of the state of emergency in court. She joins a number of opposition MPs and other activists who are petitioning to have the order lifted. Bangkok awoke to a state of emergency declared by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha in the early hours of last Thursday, amid growing political unrest.

Posting on her Facebook page, Sudarat points to the PM himself, who she describes as, “the source of the problem”. She says the current political protests are a result of him using a military coup to take control from the people, and then drafting a charter that supported the transfer of power to Thailand’s military.

“Other politicians and I have followed the situation with concern and tried to prevent the government from applying their power. We had a discussion yesterday and agreed that we should use the right in the court to protect the protesters.”

Two MPs from the Pheu Thai Party have also expressed their intention to sue the PM for having invoked the emergency order. Cholnan Srikaew and Jirayu Houngsub are calling on the Civil Court to rescind the state of emergency and guarantee the protection of anti-government activists.

Nation Thailand reports that former judge, Kasem Suphasit, and former Democrat MP, Watchara Petchthong, have also confirmed they are taking legal action against the PM, claiming the implementation of the state of emergency is unlawful.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

Letter calling for Thai PM’s resignation signed by over 1,000 academics

Maya Taylor

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Letter calling for Thai PM’s resignation signed by over 1,000 academics | The Thaiger
Anusorn Unno, anthropology lecturer at Thammasat Universit. PHOTO: www.db.sac.or.th

A petition calling for the resignation of Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, has been signed by up to 1,118 academics and delivered to Government House. The petition was created by the Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights. Nation Thailand reports that a group of university lecturers and students have marched to Government House to deliver the letter. They include Anusorn Unno, anthropology lecturer at Thammasat University, and Thamrongsak Petchlertanan, a lecturer in Political Science at Rangsit University.

In the letter, academics slam the government’s clampdown on an October 16 rally in Bangkok, when police used water cannons, allegedly laced with blue-dyed chemical irritants, to disperse protesters at the Pathumwan intersection.

Anusorn claims the action injured several people and only served to ignite further anger at the government. He is calling on the administration to refrain from violence when dealing with protesters, to stop the gagging of government critics, put an end to laws that infringe on freedom of speech, and to cede to the protesters’ demands.

Those demands are outlined in a 10-point manifesto and include the PM’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament, and a call for fresh elections. The manifesto appeared at a protest in early August and has since provided a consistent ‘script’ for the protest movement. Protesters are also calling for a re-write of the 2017 Thai Charter (Constitution) and for reforms to the role of the Thai Monarchy.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

House Speaker confirms agreement for special parliamentary session

Maya Taylor

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House Speaker confirms agreement for special parliamentary session | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Speaker of the lower house of Parliament has confirmed that there is cross-party agreement for an extraordinary parliamentary session to be convened in the wake of the ongoing political unrest in Thailand. Chuan Leekpai has notified PM Prayut Chan-o-cha of the agreement to hold the special session in a bid to seek a resolution to the conflict. Anti-government protests have been taking place all over the country since mid-July and, while all have been peaceful, rallies are increasing in size and frequency. Activists are pitching a 10-point manifesto, with demands including the resignation of the PM, the dissolution of parliament and the holding of fresh elections, as well as a re-drafting of the constitution.

In his letter to the PM, Chuan calls on the cabinet to back the announcement of a Royal Decree, which will declare the opening of the special session. He proposes an initial general debate, with no voting requirement, so that MPs and senators can express their opinions and work to find a solution to the current impasse. The PM has already voiced his support for an extraordinary session of parliament.

Meanwhile, a number of opposition figures are calling for the state of emergency imposed on Bangkok to be lifted, declaring its implementation illegal and unnecessary. They are threatening legal action against the government if this proves to be the case, with the Pheu Thai Party renewing its calls for the PM’s resignation.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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