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Pheu Thai calls for release of charter draft critics

Aug 11. 2016
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By The Nation

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The Pheu Thai Party Thursday called on the junta to release those arrested for campaigning against the draft constitution now that the referendum has been done.
The party also called on government and the National Council for Peace and Order to ease the control and make the political atmosphere friendly for the general election.
“As the  Referendum is now completed and as Thailand will face more challenges, Pheu Thai Party sees that we will need to have the cooperation from all sides to help move the country forward,” the party’s statement said.
“Moreover, there will be the process of drawing up the organic legislation; therefore it is necessary to have a conducive atmosphere that will lead to people participation from all sectors.  The restrictions to freedom of expression, the arrests and legal actions against those who have different opinions, as done during the referendum, will not help to achieve the objective and will not be acceptable by the people or by the international communities.”
The party said in the statement that all legal actions against the draft critics should be dropped.
“Having comments or having different points of view is the norm of any society so it should not be used as a reason to file criminal charges based on this.  Such action could lead to defiance among the people, to the point of creating unrest in the Kingdom.  But if the state is still staunch in pursuing such actions, then it should use the normal rule of law,” the statement said.
It said the government should drop the charges for humanitarian sake as some suspects have health problems.
“We know that some of those in detention are not well due to ill health.  In detaining these persons, practices on human rights and humanitarian principles should be given the highest priority,” the statement said.
It said there should be an atmosphere that is conducive to hearing out the different opinions and recommendations from all sectors “so that there will be an all-rounded opinions that could be useful in drafting up the organic legislation in order to move the country forward in a manner that is acceptable by all”.

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