Since a coup d’état in 2014, Thailand has been under the rule of a military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).  There has been a militarisation of the legal system with the military creating its own versions of law and trying some cases in military courts.  Thai Lawyers for Human Rights report that in the period up to 30th September 2015, 1,629 civilians had been tried in 1,408 cases in military courts.  The militarisation of the legislature and the judiciary has been used to silence dissent including through banning political gatherings of five people or more and bringing criminal charges against critics of the regime.  Soldiers have taken on many of the jobs traditionally done by the police and have been given policing powers including the power of arrest.  Both the military and the police undertake surveillance of suspected political opponents and martial law means that those detained can be held in a military compound for up to seven days with soldiers acting as prison guards, in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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