Government clarifies Section 44 use to foreign diplomats and press

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BANGKOK, 8 April 2015 – The government has clarified details pertaining to the NCPO’s announcement no. 3/2558 and the use of Section 44 of the interim constitution to foreign diplomats and press members, emphasizing the need for the special law in maintaining orderliness.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam and representatives of relevant government agencies indicated to foreign representatives that is was necessary for the government to use Section 44 to facilitate orderliness during the political transition period, and that it will be used sparingly and cautiously, and consideration will always be given to human rights.

Meanwhile, Colonel Winthai Suwaree, spokesperson to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), explained that Section 44 empowers state officials to suppress wrongdoings related to lese majeste affairs, internal security affairs, firearms and violation of orders issued by the NCPO. He added that the NCPO announcement no. 3/2558 afforded the authorities a special tool to provide for the safety of the lives and assets of members of the public, and that it would only impact ill-intentioned individuals who deliberately conduct acts of unrest.