Activists Petition MPs to Repeal Junta Orders

Junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks to reporters June 26, 2019, at Government House in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — Pro-democracy campaigners on Monday petitioned lawmakers to repeal special orders enacted by the junta after the 2014 coup.

While submitting their petitions to the House of Representatives, the activists said at least 35 such edicts will continue to threaten civil rights, the justice system, and free speech long after the incoming government replaces the junta. The petition, organized by 23 different civic groups, attracted 13,409 signatures.

Yingcheep Atchanont, head of a legal monitoring group called iLaw, urged MPs to draft and pass a bill designed to remove those junta orders within two months.

Examples include Order 97/2014, which prohibits media reports that “cause division” in society, and Order 103/2014, which bans reporters from criticizing the junta “with ill intent.”


The activist said at least five opposition political parties, including Pheu Thai and Future Forward, informed him on Sunday that they support his initiative.

Asked how a motion from the opposition could possibly pass when the pro-regime coalition controls a majority in parliament, Yingcheep said he hopes some MPs in the junta camp will vote in favor of the repeals.

“I don’t think I have to ability to convince them,” Yingcheep said. “However, voting for [the prime minister] in order to form government and voting for proposed legislation are different.”


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