The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) decided on Sunday to use a martial court to prosecute offenders in another move to reinforce its control over the political situation as more protests against the coup took place in Bangkok.
Anti-coup protesters gather at Amarin Plaza in Ratchaprasong area on Sunday and scuffle with armed military officers deployed to oversee security in the area. (Video by Chumphon Sangvilert)
The NCPO announcement pinpointed those subject to the martial court. They are people committing crimes, facing lese majeste charges, creating security threats and defying its orders.
The coup allows judicial courts to function but wrongdoers in the cases it mentioned will be taken to the martial court, the announcement said.
Its decision is aimed at keeping the situation under firm control following army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha's coup on Thursday.
It was mainly aimed at those ignoring orders, a source said.
Politicians, academics and officials from the deposed government, political parties and two rivals — the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and the People's Democratic Reform Committee — have been summoned by the coup makers. Among them is former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Pheu Thai Party leader Jarupong Ruangsuwan and former education minister Jaturon Chaisaeng, who are on the list, have not reported, claiming lack of legitimacy by Gen Prayuth to declare a coup.
Council spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree said the two would face action after having been warned.
The coup bans gatherings of more than five people for political purposes.
But protests against the military seizure continued for the third day, this time at Amarin Plaza near Ratchaprasong intersection and at the Victory Monument on Sunday.
The new order means people on the summons list could see themselves in the martial court if they fail to report to the coup makers.
At Ratchaprasong, about 1,000 protesters gathered at Amarin Plaza to voice opposition to the coup, according to a Post Today photographer at the scene.
A battalion of soldiers was deployed at the shopping centre and another group was put on the skywalk, he said. A group of police officers were stationed in the area as well.
Soldiers and police did not use force against the demonstrators who faced a counter protest by coup supporters.
The demonstrators blocked traffic and threw water bottles into a car, banging the car to prevent it from leaving the area.
A woman who identified herself only as Porntipa, or Fah, whistled at the crowd and exchanged heated words before being whisked away by police to an ambulance.
A few cameramen and police received minor injuries.
At least two protesters were taken away by the troops, one bleeding, according to AFP.
"I am not afraid of them because the more we are afraid of them, the more they will stamp on us," protester Kongjit Paennoy, 50, told AFP. "We want an election — to choose our own boss."
The group then moved on to Victory Monument.
Col Winthai said the coup makers will use both soft and strong measures to handle protesters and the council will try to explain to them the need for the armed forces to seize power.
Demonstrators arrive at Victory Monument after walking from Amarin Plaza on Sunday to show their opposition to the coup. (Photo by Krit Promsaka na Sakolnakorn)