Thai junta says hu­man rights event can­celed

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

Thai­land’s mil­i­tary rulers Thurs­day banned a panel dis­cus­sion ex­plor­ing rights abuses al­leged to have taken place dur­ing the junta’s one-year rule.

Thai Lawyers for Hu­man Rights, which pro­vides legal aid to those who fall foul of the junta, had been due to launch a re­port on the king­dom’s fal­ter­ing rights record at the For­eign Cor­re­spon­dent’s Club of Thai­land ( FCCT) on Thurs­day evening.

But in a state­ment re­leased Thurs­day af­ter­noon the FCCT said it had been forced to cancel the event “on the or­ders of the NCPO and the po­lice.”

The NCPO is the of­fi­cial name for Thai­land’s junta — the Na­tional Coun­cil for the Restora­tion of Peace and Or­der.

A let­ter sent to the club from po­lice said the FCCT should cancel the dis­cus­sion be­cause “there might be some peo­ple with ill-in­ten­tions us­ing the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate some sit­u­a­tions that might cause chaos.”

The FCCT said the panel dis­cus­sion was not spon­sored by the club. Thai Lawyers for Hu­man Rights had paid to use the venue.

Club pres­i­dent Jonathan Head tweeted through his per­sonal ac­count that although the panel dis­cus­sion was can­celed the club would re­main open in the evening, adding that there would be “a vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence.”

A junta spokesman, Ma­jor Gen­eral Wer­a­chon Sukhon­da­p­ati­pak, con­firmed the mil­i­tary halted the event, say­ing Thai Lawyers for Hu­man Rights had not sought per­mis­sion from the au­thor­i­ties.

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