Human rights group calls for pressure on Thai junta

Human rights group calls for pressure on Thai junta

Human Rights Watch yesterday called on the foreign community to continue to pressure the Thai government of General Prayut Chan-o-cha to return democracy to the Kingdom.

It also expressed concern that the date for a new election continues to be pushed back.

"Governments around the world need to press the military junta to end repression and restore fundamental rights, which are essential for a genuine return to democratic civilian rule," said Brad Adams, HRW Asia director.

The call was made as the New York-based rights organisation released a report on the 12 months of Thailand being under the control of the National Council for Peace and Order and the military government since the May 22 coup last year.

HRW said repression in Thailand was deepening and the junta relied on censorship and arrests to resist a return to democratic rule.

"One year since the military coup, Thailand is a political dictatorship with all power in the hands of one man," Adams said.

"The date for elections continues to slide, with no certainty when they will happen. Backsliding on respect for basic rights and democratic reform seems to have no end in sight."

HRW claimed that the junta had used dictatorial power systematically to repress human rights throughout the country.

"The ruling National Council for Peace and Order led by prime minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has prosecuted critics of military rule, banned political activity, censored the media, and tried dissidents in unfair military courts," HRW stated.

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