Government lifts Martial Law and imposes Article 44


Thailand’s government has announced that is lifting martial law which was introduced in May 2014.

The Prime Minister, General Prayuth Chan-ocha announced the move after the order was signed by the King. However, General Prayuth Chan-ocha also announced that the martial law would be replaced by Article 44 of the interim constitution.

Article 44 allows:

• Security forces to detain anyone for seven days without a court warrant who harms national security
• Security forces to ban media reports if they believe they are harmful to national security
• Security forces to enter any location, property or vehicle and summon anyone for interrogation
• Security forces to prohibit political gatherings of more than five people

The Bangkok Post cited the General as saying “he would use it [Article 44] to correct problems surrounding the allocation of land and forest resources, tackle discrepancies in society, improve justice, resolve the aviation problem and deal with the human trafficking scourge.”

Human Rights Watch Director of Asia, Brad Adams, said “General Prayuth’s action to tighten rather than loosen his grip on power puts the restoration of democratic civilian rule further into the future.”

You can read the full press release by Human Rights Watch here.

More detailed briefing on the politics and risk of doing business in this country is available to clients and subscribers. If you would like to know more then please contact