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Security and surveillance top Thai junta's agenda

Friday, February 27, 2015

Subject

The junta's grip over law and order.

Significance

Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's indictment on charges of negligence related to the rice subsidy scheme demonstrates the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) commitment to using the judiciary against political leaders affiliated with deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Such high-profile cases have accompanied a much broader law and order campaign involving the detention of activists and creation of new laws limiting protest and freedom of expression. This campaign reflects worsening authoritarian conditions in Thailand as well as the junta's fear of unrest.

Impacts

  • Tightening controls over digital content could deter foreign participation in the telecoms sector.
  • Yingluck's imprisonment is becoming likely: if poorly handled this could trigger major public unrest.
  • The credibility of the judiciary and the anti-graft commission have been deeply tarnished; it will not be easily recouped.
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