Thailand: (Unofficial) SUMMARY
Prime Minister’s Orders under Emergency Decree 2 September 2008
There is a group likely to cause public disorder, which is not good for administration of the state or the economic situation and is a danger to national security, including democracy, development and its effect on the rights and liberties of innocent people. There is an urgent need to remedy the problem.
Prime Minister’s Order 194/2551
Under Section 5 of the Emergency Decree a state of emergency is declared in Bangkok.
Note: Section 5 requires the approval of the Council of Ministers either before or within 3 days of declaration of a state of emergency.
Under Sections 7 (2) and (4), and 10 of the Emergency Decree, the Prime Minister appoints Army Commander (General Anupong Paochinda) as the Chief Official, and two Deputy Chief Officials: the National Police Commissioner (Pol. Gen. Phatcharawat Wongsuwan) and Commander 1st Army Region (Lt-Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha). The Chief Official’s powers are:
1) Command and order relevant government agencies and officials, including ‘competent officials’;
2) Implement the Prime Minister’s Orders.
Prime Minister’s Order 195/2551
1) Military, police and civilian officials in Bangkok are appointed as ‘competent officials’, with duty to operate as specified by the Emergency Decree;
2) Competent officials have the power of competent officials under the Penal Code and administrative officials and police officers under the Criminal Procedure Code (powers of inquiry are limited to competent officials are above a certain rank) (Section 15, Emergency Decree). Note: This effectively gives police powers to the military.
Notification under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree:
1) Prohibit assembly of more than 5 people at any place or the commission of any act which may cause unrest (Section 9(2));
2) Prohibit press release, distribution or dissemination of letters, publications or any means of communication containing texts which may instigate fear amongst the people or is intended to distort information which misleads understanding of the emergency situation to the extent of affecting the security of state or public order or good moral of the people for the entire Kingdom; (Section 9(3))
3) Prohibit use of vehicles or routes, as specified by Chief Official (Section 9(4))
4) Prohibit use of buildings or power to enter or stay in any place, as specified by Chief Official; (Section 9(5))
5) Move people in or out of any area for security reasons, as specified by Chief Official (Section 9(6)).
Note: Power of curfew under Section 9(1), Emergency Decree, has not been invoked. Nor have arrest and detention powers, or other wide powers, under Section 11.
Section 18 of the Emergency Decree provides the following penalties for violation of Section 9: Imprisonment: up to 2 years; Fine: up to 40,000 baht.