When The Dictator was asked about the recent abductions of 10 persons for something they may have done to annoy him and the rest of the junta, General Prayuth Chan-ocha stated: “Did they commit a wrongdoing? If they did, they must all be arrested…”.
He blathered about courts and other authorities, before using the classic dictator’s line: “If you do not break the law, nothing can be done to you…”.
This comes from the man who led an illegal overthrow of an elected government. It comes from a General who led troops in shooting down protesting citizens in 2010. It comes from a General who is unusually wealthy and whose family engages in nepotism.
On these facts, this is a man who cannot be taken seriously when it comes to questions of law. For him, law is what he says it is.
In the case of the recent arrests, this record of lawlessness continues. The persons arrested were abducted. As Prachatai reports, the Military Court only issued arrest warrants for some of those abducted a day after they were taken into custody. Human rights groups state that the military’s raids:
have been conducted with the seizure of property without informing the arrestees of their charges and the reasons for the deprivation of their liberty. They were also not told where they would be taken to. It was later reported that the individuals have been taken to the 11th Military Circle.
[We]… feel gravely concerned about the exercise of power by the government officials including the arrest and detention of persons arbitrarily, without good reasons and in breach of the right to fair trial. The arrests have been made without producing court warrants, without informing the arrestees of the charges or the reasons of the arrests, and without informing them of the detention places.
When The Dictator speaks of the law, he speaks as a thug and uses his power rather than abiding by laws. His view of law is as a tool for political repression.