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Court throws out petition to invalidate emergency decree
BANGKOK, Feb 19 – Thailand's Civil Court today rejected a petition to prevent the caretaker government from enforcing its emergency decree, but warned the caretaker government against using force, weapons and violence in dealing with protesters.
The court said the administrative branch was empowered to enforce the state of emergency on the condition that it must avoid a violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.
It also warned the authorities not to use force in dealing with protesters, saying such an action would breach Article 17 of the emergency decree.
Thaworn Senneam, a key leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), filed a lawsuit with the court, charging caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, director of Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order Chalerm Yubamrung and National Police Commander Adul Saengsingkaew with unlawfully invoking the emergency decree.
He said the three high-level officials had ordered police to use tear gas and weapons in dispersing demonstrations, resulting in deaths and injuries of both police officers and civilians.
Mr Thaworn said it was unnecessary for the administrative branch to declare a state of emergency given the protesters’ peaceful demonstrations.
The court’s ruling took effect immediately.
The caretaker government enforced the emergency decree covering Bangkok and its outlying areas -- Nonthaburi, Bangplee district of Samut Prakan, and Lad Lumkaew district of Pathum Thani -- for 60 days, beginning Jan 22 to deal with anti-government protesters who want caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.
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