New Thailand PM to ease restrictions on gatherings while martial law continues

New Thailand PM to ease restrictions on gatherings while martial law continues

[JURIST] Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont [official website; BBC profile] said Tuesday that Thailand [JURIST news archive] will remain under martial law but will ease restrictions on political gatherings. Martial law currently prohibits gatherings of more than five people. The interim government, formally installed [BBC report] October 9 after receiving the approval of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, will allow meetings in venues such as universities and auditoriums. Surayud said the easing of restrictions will take place after consultation with the military and approval of the newly appointed National Legislative Assembly.

Human rights groups and the US government [JURIST reports] have urged Thailand [JURIST news archive] to revoke the martial law imposed [JURIST report] on the country by military leaders who seized power from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [JURIST news archive] in a bloodless coup [JURIST report] September 19. Shinawatra, currently in London, has been warned not to return [JURIST report] to Thailand until martial law is lifted. AP has more.