Student and lawyer groups petitions court to revoke the emergency decree

Student groups from Chulalongkorn and Thammasat University as well as several lawyers’ associations asked Thailand’s Civil Court on Wednesday to withdraw the emergency decree imposed by the government to control pro-democracy demonstrations.

This is the second time that the Civil Court has been asked to rule on the emergency decree with the Pheu Thai Party making the same request on Tuesday.

The plaintiffs said that the emergency decree, which came into effect on October 15 and could continue to be in effect until November 13, are in violation of human rights.

One of the plaintiffs, Sugreeya Wannayuwat, a student protest leader, said the right to assembly is one of the basic human rights guaranteed by the constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Thailand is a party to.

However, according to the suit, the government has used the severe emergency decree as a political tool to bar the right to assembly.

Sugreeya said the emergency decree was unwarranted as the student protests were non-violent.

She also said that the government’s use of force to suppress protestors with water cannons last Friday was against international standard practices laid down by the United Nations’ Guidance on Less-Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement.

“These actions are the government’s efforts to use the emergency decree and the Declaration of a Serious Emergency Situation to violate human rights and the people’s freedom beyond its jurisdiction, without fairness and shamefully, and with complete disregard of the supreme law and international law,” she said.

The lawyer groups co-submitting the petition include Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, EnLawThai Foundation, Human Rights Lawyers Association, Muslim Attorney Center Foundation, Legal Rights and Environmental Protection Association, Cross-Cultural Foundation, Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw), and the Union of Civil Liberty.

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