Thailand’s military authorities must halt the alarming deterioration in respect for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, including ending the unprecedented use of the lèse-majesté law, Amnesty International said ahead of International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
“We are seeing a spiral into silence in Thailand – ongoing, harsh restrictions that are stifling free speech and suffocating a once vibrant civil society,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.
“Denying the space for debate and jailing peaceful critics through the repressive lèse-majesté law will do nothing for the ‘national reconciliation’ that the authorities have promised.”
Official sensitivity to perceived criticism is high. Censorship spans from controls on academic seminars to the media – authorities are regularly calling in editors and in recent weeks have threatened them with prosecution should they infringe restrictions on what they can report.