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Thai Democracy Activists Petition Constitutional Court to Scrap Junta’s Gag Order

Rangsiman Rome, pro-democracy activist, is escorted by police officers as he arrives at a military court in Bangkok, June 26, 2017. – Photo Panu Wongcha-um

BANGKOK – Democracy activists will petition the Constitutional Court for the lift one of the junta’s orders on the ground it is an outright violation of the constitution.

Rangsiman Rome (above), a coordinator of the Democracy Restoration Group under the New Democracy Movement, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and representatives of people affected by the 3/2558 order announced the move at Thammasat University on Saturday.

The order, issued by the special powers of the junta’s chief and taking effect on April 1, 2015, bans freedom of assembly and empowers soldiers to summon any person to testify and detain up to seven days, among others.

They found the two points very problematic.

Rangsiman Rome, a coordinator of the Democracy Restoration Group told the Bangkok Post that “Since the order was issued, several democracy fighters have been detained and prosecuted even after the new constitution, which endorses civil rights and liberties, was proclaimed. We will therefore exercise our right to file a petition with the Constitutional Court.”

The petitioners are mainly those affected in five cases. They are: an activity at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, a train trip to Rajabhakti Park, a campaign on the constitutional referendum, a democracy event by Kasetsart University students and a forum on “academic forum is not a barracks” in Chiang Mai.

Mr Rangsiman said his groups would ask the court to decide whether the order and actions taken under it were constitutional.

“We’re signing up people affected by the order, a process likely to finish this month or next,” he said.

Sirawich “Ja New” Seritiwat, an activist and affected person in the Rajabhakti train case, gave his reasons.

“When it entered, the NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order] claimed to maintain order but so far what it has done is gagging people with different views, rendering the laws meaningless. The order was selectively enforced against its opponents.

“The petitioning will give the answer to the crucial question — which is the highest law of the county,” he concluded.

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Posted by on Dec 9 2017. Filed under Thailand Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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