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Phuket: What does martial law mean?

PHUKET: The law invoked is the Martial Law, BE2557 (1914). Section 2 stipulates that “Whenever there is necessity to preserve good order so as to be free from external or internal danger, a Royal Proclamation may be issued enforcing all or certain section of the Martial Law...”

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 20 May 2014, 09:38AM

So far the Army is saying that people can carry on their lives as usual, that martial law will be imposed lightly.

If it chooses, however, the Army can under the Martial Law of 1914:

  • Tell local authorities what to do;

  • Set up military courts to hear criminal cases;

  • Have full powers of search, compulsory requisition, seizure, occupation or destroy "any place" and "turn out" persons.

  • Have wide powers to search anyone or anything;

  • Inspect books, printed matter, newspapers, verses or poems;

  • Prohibit meetings, distribution of printed matter, advertising, radio or TV programmes,

  • Block roads, railways, water transport or airports;

  • Prohibit possession of and seize weapons or anything that might be used to harm people or property;

  • Set curfews;

  • Bar people from certain areas.

It should be stressed that so far, the Army has invoked almost none of these powers.

The 1914 law can be seen in translation into English here.

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