Rights body asks govt to lift emergency

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called on the government to cancel the use of the emergency decree in Bangkok and nearby provinces, saying harsh measures would only make the situation worse.

In its statement issued on Thursday, the NHCR said the emergency decree now in force in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan until March 22 would restrict the rights and liberties of the people.

The decree overrides state mechanisms and monitoring systems under the constitution intended to balance and regulate the use of state power, the statement said.

The emergency decree gives state authorities the power to search, arrest and detain people suspected of wrongdoing with no guarantee that their rights and liberties under the constitution will be observed, the NHRC said.

Moreover, the decree may lead the authorities to abuse of power to limit the rights and freedom of the mass media and restrict the people's right to information and expression.

The NHCR, therefore, calls for the government to cancel the imposition of the emergency decree immediately, reasoning that the present situation does not warrant use of such law, the statement said.

It calls for organisers and protesters to refrain from any acts which may be deemed provocative or violating human rights.  The protests must be peaceful and without arms.

The NHCR asks all kinds of media to be careful to base their news on facts so that the people receive only correct information.

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