[JURIST] A group of Thailand human rights activists denounced the country’s state of martial law on Monday, accusing the ruling military junta [MThai report, in Thai] of imposing a judicial “twilight zone.” The rights group has called for an end [AFP report] to martial law which was instituted on May 20, two days before the coup [JURIST report] that ousted the former Thai government and installed General Prayuth Chan-ocha [BBC profile] as the country’s new prime minister. Since then, political demonstrations have been banned and hundreds have been arrested for protesting the junta, according to a report entitled “The Human Rights Situation 100 Days After the Coup” which was to be published last week [Reuters report] before military officials forced its authors to postpone the release.
Thailand has faced political instability since the May 22 coup and the junta has been accused of violating human rights in their attempts to maintain order. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] expressed concern [JURIST report] in August that the junta is limiting free expression by prosecuting lese-majeste cases for defamation of the royal family. Independent UN human rights experts also called on [JURIST report] the new government to address its alleged human rights violations in June. Military police arrested [JURIST report] a Thai human rights defender and her son in their home in May. Shortly after the coup, the junta released a statement [JURIST report] asking citizens not to gather for political demonstrations.