Thailand’s challenges include weak rule of law and suppression of dissent. The government continued to restrict and repress the NGO and religious rights movement to crack down on anti-junta protesters. After a series of police raids in September 2015, the government successfully prosecuted two journalists of the opposition newspaper Prachatai. Despite changes in the counterterrorism laws enacted following the coup, the government showed little progress in closing the loophole that allowed the illegal detention of suspects. Interference by the military in the judicial process remains a growing concern.
Thailand remains an important transit point for the flow of drugs and people arriving from South and Southeast Asia and is a hub for the trans-Pacific region. The government has continued to crack down on illegal migration and human smuggling. In September 2015, authorities arrested 10 people for smuggling a group of 59 women and children into Thailand from Myanmar. An official report from Thailand’s Royal Thai Police said that the migrants from Myanmar crossed into Thailand illegally and then paid “human traffickers” to smuggle them into Thailand. The report identified the smugglers as Myanmar nationals and said that the migrants were trying to reach Malaysia.
Arrest warrants for trafficking suspects continue to be used in Thailand, often without the benefit of a judicial authorization. The Government has continued to use its discretionary power to detain persons under the Internal Security Act. This power is rarely used. Thailand has not clarified the legal basis for its use of the act.
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