Representatives of the European Union have expressed concern over Thailand's use of detention without charge and having civilians tried in military courts, adding to mounting criticism of justice under the Southeast Asian nation's military rule.

Their statement echoes an appeal Friday by Human Rights Watch calling for the military-appointed legislature to reject a proposal to allow the armed forces to hold civilians without charge for almost three months.

The New York-based group also said that trying civilians for some offenses in military courts violates international agreements to which Thailand is a party. The junta instituted the practice after staging a coup last May.

The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists last month described the military's affirmation of its right to try civilians as a serious setback for human rights.