People in Bangkok, Thailand. Editorial credit: nimon /


In March 2019, Thailand held elections for the first time since a 2014 military coup overthrew its democratically elected government. The election process was widely considered to have been designed to prolong and legitimize the military’s dominant role in Thailand’s governance. The new, nominally civilian government, again helmed by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the former army chief, continues to restrict civil and political rights and suppress dissent. Thailand’s new monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, has worked to consolidate authority over political life and the military.

FIW Hong Kong hero photo

Freedom in the World — Thailand Country Report

Thailand’s status improved from Not Free to Partly Free in the Freedom in the World 2020 report, due to a slight reduction in restrictions on assembly and tightly controlled elections that, despite significant flaws, ended a period of direct rule by military commanders. 

A young woman wearing a protective mask looks at her smartphone while passing by a grafitti representing two big watching eyes in Berlin, Germany on April 1, 2020. Illustrative Editorial (Photo by Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Freedom on the Net — Thailand Country Report

Thailand is rated Not Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.