ISA challenged

6 02 2010

PPT has for some time pointed to the Internal Security Act as a piece of bad and politically-abused legislation.

The Bangkok Post (6 February 2010) reports that Roger Normand, the Asia Pacific director of the ICJ (that’s the International Commission of Jurists) has stated that the ISA, while more limited than “the emergency decree, or martial law, there remain serious concerns about human rights and democratic governance…”.

Normand was speaking at a seminar about reviewing the law that was passed under the coup government and promulgated in early 2008.” The ISA has been used 7 times since July 2009, mainly against red shirt rallies, all of which have been peaceful. The ISA is managed by the military-dominated Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC).

Normand said the ICJ was concerned about the vagueness of definitions under the ISA, potentially criminalising a wide range of behaviour that poses no threat and bypassing people’s rights…. Lack of clear direction for the use of force and civilian oversight was an international concern…” for it allocated “exceptional powers on a permanent or standing basis” to the military. He described this situation as “dangerous.”

As might be expected, drafter and chief promoter of the use of the ISA, Panitan Wattanayagorn, who is acting government spokesman, defended the ISA as “flexible and as civilian managed as the prime minister retains control. Meanwhile ISOC is, according to the always acting spokesman, being beefed up.

Read the entire ICJ report in PDF format here: Thailand’s Internal Security Act: Risking the Rule of Law?








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