Restrictions on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly on Democratisation Movements between 2020-2021

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Pat Niyomsilp


Freedom of assembly is one of the fundamental rights under international human rights law. In Thailand, Public Assembly Act B.E.2558 is the main legal instrument regulating such freedom. However, after Covid-19 pandemic immerged in early 2020, The government of Thailand declared state of emergency to tackle the problem. Many health-related regulations which are imposed between 2020 – 2021 unduly restricted freedom of assembly significantly. This research investigates how the government restricted student-led democratisation movements between 2020 – 2021 and identifies difficulties in reviewing these health-restrictions limiting freedom of assembly. It argues that the emergency law and emergency decree gave too wide legal basis granting too much discretion to officers while the judicial review process was weakened and departed from international standards significantly. Under these circumstances, political activists in 2021-2022 were unable to exercise their freedom of assembly effectively. They face restrictions on freedom of assembly which did not comply with international standards.

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