Repression to deepen

30 06 2016

There are reports that detained students are being punished in prison by being forced to “do various laborious tasks such as cleaning latrines, sweeping the grounds and brushing jail bars…” and that the junta’s thugs have not only “banned” any No vote campaign but also campaigning for the right to campaign, George Orwell must be rolling in his grave.

More worryingly, the Constitutional Court’s expected support for the junta and its draconian referendum law, moves the whole charter referendum into an Orwellian vortex of repression and oppression. NGOs and activists might babble about the junta “allowing” debate, but they are pissing into the wind and continue to misunderstand the basic nature of the regime.

The Constitutional Court continued its support for anti-democratic positions, with “[a]ll nine court judges agreed that Section 61 of the Referendum Act does not violate the 2014 interim charter.” The question asked was whether the referendum law breached the 2014 military charter, which had some (disposable) commitment to “freedom of expression.”

Now that the loyal judges have done their job, there is nothing to prevent even deeper repression as the military’s new charter goes to the referendum, providing the junta and its thugs with a license to do whatever they feel necessary to get their preferred result.

Confusingly, the result the junta favors may be the rejection of the charter, allowing it to stay on even longer, while being able to use the referendum law to repress opponents.