The May 25 order grants the military wide-ranging powers to prosecute civilians without basic due process protections, and prohibits defense counsel and rights to appeal.
The trial scheduled for later this week of detained former Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng and other civilians charged by the military junta should be heard in regular courts. Chaturon would be the first civilian put on trial in a military court in Thailand in decades. Chaturon has been denied access to legal counsel.
“The military trial of a civilian without a lawyer or means to prepare a defense is really no trial at all, but a travesty of justice,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The Thai junta should immediately end its arrests of peaceful critics and revoke its order allowing the trial of civilians before military courts.”