22 Dec 2010

Bangkok state of emergency being lifted

1:28 pm on 22 December 2010

A state of emergency that has been in force in the Thai capital Bangkok for more than eight months is being lifted.

Special provisions were introduced on April 7 during anti-government protests in Bangkok.

The BBC reports security forces were given sweeping powers, including the power to detain suspects for up to 30 days without charge.

More than 90 people were killed in April - May during clashes between protesters and the security forces.

At one stage emergency law was imposed over more than a quarter of the country, but it has gradually been lifted as the security situation has improved.

The government agreed on Tuesday to lift emergency law in Bangkok and surrounding provinces as soon as possible.

However, matters will not revert to an entirely normal situation.

The BBC reports the emergency decree is likely to be replaced by an Internal Security Act which still allows the security forces broad licence to detain suspects without charge, albeit for seven rather than 30 days.