Opposition wants to look into ‘misuse of law’ to silence protesters

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An opposition party is backing a motion to form a panel to looking misuses of laws they say are used to silence political dissent, including Thailand’s draconian lese majeste law, which carries an up to 15 year prison sentence for insulting the royal family. With the rise of the youth-led pro-democracy movement over the past year, where many have raised questions and made statements considered unprecedented in Thai society, many have faced charges under the lese majeste law as well as other laws.

The leader of the Pheu Thai party, which was founded by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, says they accepted a petition that called for the release of a number of protesters and activists who had been detained for violating Thailand’s Criminal Code under Section 112, known as the lese majeste law, and Section 116, which covers sedition, as well as violating the Emergency Decree.

Party leader Cholnan Srikaew says the party would ask the House of Representatives to create a panel that would look into the recent enforcement of these laws. This committee would pay special attention to the government’s enforcement of these laws against political dissenters, Cholnan added, to determine whether the government has acted improperly. He also said that he wants members from civil groups represented on the panel, and that his party would form its own committee to look into the issue as well.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post

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Luke Albers

Luke Albers is a writer from the United States. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelors degree in political science and a certificate in peace, conflict and security studies. He has lived and worked in Africa and India, and now calls Thailand home. Luke loves to use his writing to connect with new people and places.

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