This video is called The Junta’s Police State: Thailand on the Brink (Dispatch 5). It says about itself:
2 July 2014
It’s been over a month since Thailand’s army overthrew the country’s elected government in a coup d’etat. In that short time, the new ruling junta has secured almost total control over the country and succeeded in silencing most of its critics.
Thailand has quickly come to resemble a police state, as hundreds of people have been detained, “invited to talk,” or “given time to meditate,” as the junta puts it. Most are released after a week — at which point they have signed a document indicating their promise not to oppose the coup, or face years in jail. Others have been sent to military courts for judgment, where no appeal is allowed.
Authorities have offered cash rewards for anyone who can bring them a photo of their fellow citizens taking part in anti-coup activities. Hand salutes, eating sandwiches, and reading controversial books in public are now illegal if they are considered to be motivated by anti-coup sentiments, and the media continues to be heavily censored.
The junta says 90 percent of Thais support the coup — which is a questionable number, having come from their own surveys.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Rights group calls for end to Thai junta’s supression of dissent
Friday 12th September 2014
Amnesty International called on Thailand’s military yesterday to end a “disturbing pattern of repression” since it seized power in May.
The rights group said it had received credible reports that detainees had been tortured.
“Three months since the coup, a picture emerges from our investigations of widespread and far-reaching human-rights violations perpetrated by the military government that are still ongoing,” Amnesty Asia-Pacific director Richard Bennett said.
“The Thai authorities should end this disturbing pattern of repression, end human-rights violations, respect its international human-rights obligations and allow open debate and discussion — all of which are vital to the country’s future.”
The army has justified the May 22 takeover claiming that it had to act to restore stability after months of political protests which paralysed the former government and triggered sporadic violence which had left dozens of people dead and close to 1,000 injured.
Since then, the junta has shown no tolerance for dissent and crushed open debate on the nation’s fate. Martial law is in effect and political assemblies of more than five people are banned.
Amnesty said 665 people have been summoned or detained by the junta so far. A breakdown of those targeted indicated “a clear case of political persecution and an attempt to silence dissent.”
The vast majority were politicians who opposed the coup, along with academics, activists and protesters.
Amnesty said they were held without charge or trials and security forces had revoked passports and threatened family members.
Thai Military Bans Hunger Games Salute: What Protesters Can Take From Hollywood: here.
THAILAND’S martial law will not be lifted in the foreseeable future, Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya said today — despite an earlier pledge to lift it: here.
FORMER THAI PRIME MINISTER BANNED FROM POLITICS FOR FIVE YEARS “Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Friday that democracy in her country was dead, after the military-appointed legislature voted to ban her from politics for five years and the prosecutor announced plans to indict her on criminal charges in connection with a money-losing rice subsidy program.” [AP]
Reblogged this on gingerblokeblog.
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Activists urge end to prison boat plan
Thailand: Rights groups wrote to ex-army Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power last May, urging him to drop a proposal to make prisoners work on fishing boats.
The government said the work would help train and rehabilitate prisoners and that they would be paid.
But critics including Human Rights Watch say sending convicts to work at sea is reminiscent of the galley slaves once seized around the world.
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