Thai military junta releases journalists

Bangkok : The military junta in Thailand released two journalists and a university lecturer Friday, while summoning more opponents of the deposed government in its operation to silence dissent.

The authorities have said that the people set free can neither talk about politics in public nor can leave their city of residence without official authorisation.

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Another freed journalist, Thanapol Eiwsakul, editor of the magazine Fah Diew Gan, was kept under arrest since Friday last week.

Martial law is in effect in Thailand since May 20, two days before the coup, and does not allow the detention of a person for more than seven days without filing of formal charges.

On the other hand, 16 members of the deposed government’s supporting group, the Red Shirts, had to appear before the National Council for Peace and Order, the official name of the military junta, Friday.

On being released six days after being arrested, Suporn Atthawong, one of the leaders of the Red Shirts, announced that he was leaving politics, according to the Bangkok Post.

Thai army chief Prayuth Chon-ocha said that he declared a bloodless coup May 22 in order to ensure peace and order after months of protests, which killed 28 people and injured more than 800.

Since then, the Thai military has dissolved the government and the legislature have, suspended the constitution except the monarchy provisions, declared a curfew, censored the media, and summoned at least 270 people, among other things.

Thailand has experienced 12 military power takeovers since 1932 after the fall of absolute monarchy.