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Proposal for Emergency Decree Extension

22 Jul 2020

On Wednesday, a committee on lockdown easing will propose extending the state of emergency by another month until the end of August, citing increased uncertainty.

Secretary-General of the National Security Council Gen Somsak Rungsita would make the recommendation to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration at its meeting on Wednesday, in his capacity as chairman of the committee.

Authorities had to monitor closely the situation following visits by an infected Egyptian serviceman in Rayong and an infected daughter of a Sudanese diplomat in Bangkok, as well as the opening of schools, said on Tuesday Gen Natthaphol Nakpanich, deputy chief of the army in his capacity as vice-chairman of the lockdown-easing committee.

Despite emerging rallies, he insisted that the proposed extension was not political. To ease concerns, the committee would propose not to use Section 9(2) of the emergency decree to control any political gatherings, Gen Natthaphol said.

He added that normal laws like a law on public meetings and the Communicable Disease Control Act would be used to deal with political gatherings.

If approved, the Covid-19 state of the emergency extension will be the fourth since it was first declared on April 3, for a total five-month period.

The Prime Minister may: During an emergency:

Prohibit anyone from leaving home within a given period of time

Ban on assembling anywhere

Prohibition of reporting, selling, distributing or disseminating any media that has content that can scare people or cause unrest, or that deliberately distorts news and information, in an emergency area or across the country

Prohibit the use of certain motorways or vehicles

Prohibit the use of certain constructions or sites or evacuate people from certain areas

The law does not allow petitions to be brought before the Administrative Court so that people who want to take action against officials during an emergency must go to the Criminal Tribunal. Section 17 of the State of Emergency decree also provides officials with civil, criminal, and
disciplinary impunity as long as they have acted reasonably.

Source Bangkok Post