The Thai government has once again shown its fear of the Red Shirts opposition by extending a state of emergency in 19 of the country’s 76 provinces.
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, stated Tuesday that there would be a gradual lifting of emergency law but added that “we need to restore order now,” cited by the BBC.
Under emergency rule, public gatherings of more than five people are banned and security forces have the right to detain suspects for 30 days without charge. The emergency decree was revoked in five other provinces, after a three-month deadline expired.
The law was imposed during mass anti-government protests earlier this year in which 90 people were killed.
There have been calls by human rights organisations to lift what they describe as a “draconian” law, saying it risks driving opposition underground.
The five provinces where emergency rule has been lifted are Si Sa Ket, Kalasin, Nan, Nakhon Sawan and Nakhon Pathom, located in north, north-east and central Thailand.
But the Thai government said there were still fears of instability as weapons taken from security forces during a riot in April had not been recovered.