By Thai Newsroom Reporters
MOVE FORWARD MP Amarat Chokpamitkul today (Feb.16) called for abolition of the army-led Internal Security Operations Command which has allegedly looked to persecute people with opposing views as if they were enemies of the country.
During a second day of censure debate without subsequent votes of confidence, Amarat suggested the ISOC be entirely abolished since, she said, the army-led agency has conducted missions against the people with opposing views, including Progressive Movement Group headed by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, ex-leader of the court-dissolved Future Forward Party.
According to the MP, the ISOC has brainwashed schoolchildren in southernmost provinces and elsewhere to the extent that they develop hostility toward pro-democracy activists who may be indiscriminately viewed by the military as somehow detrimental to the monarchy.
An estimated 230,000 schoolchildren in the provinces have been recruited so far under the ISOC brainwashing campaign in the name of Thai Volunteers For National Defence, she said.
Meanwhile, Amarat insisted amnesty be promptly granted for those who may have encountered lese majeste or sedition charges.
She called on the legislative and executive branches to grant amnesty sooner than later for all political activists who have been arrested and are currently imprisoned for lese majeste or sedition charges as well as alleged violations to the Computer Act.
Those political activists, mostly being adolescents, have been put behind bars and denied bail despite the fact that court verdicts which might otherwise find them guilty as charged have not been delivered as yet.
Amarat said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who rose to power by way of the 2014 coup which he orchestrated as army chief was to blame for considering those who may have opposing political or ideological views as enemies of the country, using force against them and putting them in jail.
Hundreds of young political activists and street demonstrators have been rounded up on lese majeste and sedition charges over the last few years including a dozen who are still detained in jail without court verdicts.
Nevertheless, Prayut has earlier dismissed persistent calls for the granting of amnesty for any political activists faced with lese majeste or sedition lawsuits, bluntly suggesting they all be brought to justice.
The Move Forward has been invariably pushing for revamps of the lese majeste law, better known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code, to the extent that people who may not share political ideologies with others will no longer be intimidated, persecuted or arrested.
Top: Move Forward MP Amarat Chokpamitkul, right, and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left, during the censure debate today, Feb. 16, 2023.
Front Page: Move Forward MP Amarat Chokpamitkul wants the army-led Internal Security Operations Command abolished. Both photos: Thai Rath