Opposition wants panel to look into 'misuses of law'
The Pheu Thai Party on Monday pledged to back a motion aimed at establishing a panel to probe the misuse of the law to silence political dissent.
The move came after the party's leader, Cholnan Srikaew, accepted a petition from a civic group that demanded the release of activists and protesters who are detained for violating sections 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code, as well as the state of emergency decree.
Dr Cholnan said the party will ask the House of Representatives to form an extraordinary committee to look at the enforcement of the laws in question, especially against those holding different political views to those espoused by the government.
He added the party will push to have representatives from civil groups and networks on the panel, before adding the party will set up its own panel to look into the same issue. The panel, he said, will be headed by Thossaporn Serirak.
Chief opposition whip Sutin Klungsang said when it comes to the move to amend Section 112, better known as the lese majeste law, all opinions must be respected.
The issue is highly sensitive, but it doesn't mean it can't be discussed in the House, he said.
However, he noted that assistance should be provided to those who were arrested and charged for violating the law.
Pheu Thai denied it initiated the push to amend the lese majeste law after former premier Thaksin Shinawatra pointed out there was no problem with the law.
The party clarified that it was acting merely as a vehicle to bring any changes to the law to parliament for deliberation, after Chaikasem Nitisiri, the party's chairman of political strategy and direction, discussed the party's intention to push proposals to amend Sections 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code in parliament.