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UN fears rights curbed after Thai army coup

The United Nations human rights office voiced deep concern at the Thai army coup on Thursday and said that martial law and military orders being imposed may infringe on fundamental freedoms.

Basic rights to freedom of opinion, expression and assembly are at risk, as well as guarantees of protection from arbitrary arrest or detention, it said.

"We remind the authorities of Thailand’s obligations under international human rights law in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which strictly limit the application of emergency powers," U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.

"We urge the authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure the fundamental human rights are respected," she said.

Thailand’s army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized control of the government in a coup on Thursday, two days after he declared martial law, saying the military had to restore order and push through reforms after six months of turmoil.

The military declared a 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. curfew, suspended the constitution and told outgoing cabinet ministers to report to an army base in the north of the capital by the end of the day. Rival protest camps were ordered to disperse.


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