NCPO rebuts Pheu Thai's abuse of power comment

NCPO rebuts Pheu Thai's abuse of power comment

The National Council for Peace and Order has rejected the Pheu Thai Party's accusation that the military has used its power to violate human rights.

NCPO spokesman Winthai Suvaree on Saturday maintained that soldiers were strictly enforcing the law, which he said cannot be considered a violation of human rights.

The NCPO's reaction came after the Pheu Thai released a statement last week urging the government to stop fuelling suspicions among the public and violating people's rights.

The statement said the rights of many people had been violated by the military during its administration since the May 22, 2014 coup.

Col Winthai said most people have been satisfied with the government's law enforcement. He said the government always enforced the law in a careful manner to benefit the country and prevent the government from being unfairly discredited.

As for NCPO order No 13/2016, issued on March 29 as part of the crackdown on "influential figures", Col Winthai said authorities enforce the law case by case, which does not infringe on anyone's rights and protects law-abiding citizens.

The order gives state officials and their assistants, drawn from the commissioned ranks of the armed forces, wide-ranging powers to prevent and suppress 27 categories of crime, including human trafficking, narcotics and illegal firearms.

It also grants the officers broad powers to conduct inquiries and proceed with arrests and detentions without a court warrant in certain circumstances.

"The authorities' action under the order is justified and can be explained to the public," Col Winthai said.

The NCPO spokesman also denied allegations it was using excessive power to detain political dissidents.

He said offering divergent political opinions is accepted but they must be expressed through proper channels. The opinions must not instigate political turmoil or incite disunity among people, he added.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party member Watana Muangsook on Saturday posted on his Facebook page that he felt embarrassed for the government after ambassadors of some countries in the European Union expressed concerns over order No 13/2016.

Mr Watana, who has recently attended several "attitude adjustment" sessions with the military over critical remarks towards the government, said the regime violated human rights.

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