Thailand: Worsening human rights record in UN spotlight again

Thailand’s worsening human rights record will expose the military junta to further international embarrassment during a review by a United Nations (UN) human rights body, FIDH and its member organizations Union for Civil Liberty (UCL) and Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) said today.

Thailand will be examined by the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR) on 13-14 March 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. The CCPR monitors Thailand’s compliance with its legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In conjunction with Thailand’ s review, FIDH, UCL, and iLaw release “Under siege - Violations of civil and political rights under Thailand’s military junta”, a report that documents how military rule has had a wide-ranging, negative impact on the country’s human rights situation since the 22 May 2014 coup d’état.

“In Geneva, the Thai government faces a ‘mission impossible’ to defend the military junta’s unjustifiable policies and actions. Until the junta ceases its abusive practices, Thailand will continue to flout its international human rights obligations,” Dimitris Christopoulos, FIDH President.

The FIDH/UCL/iLaw report details the three organizations’ concerns over the significant erosion of civil and political rights guaranteed by the various provisions of the ICCPR as a direct result of actions undertaken by the ruling junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). Key concerns include: the right to an effective remedy for human rights violations; the right to life; the right to liberty and security; the right to humane treatment for persons deprived of their liberty; freedom of movement; the right to fair trial; the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right to freedom of peaceful assembly; and the right to participate in public affairs and to vote.

“Under the NCPO, the repression of any form of peaceful dissent has reached its highest point in decades. By completely disregarding the basic principles of human rights and the rule of law, the junta has triggered a downward spiral that will be difficult to reverse,” Jon Ungpakorn, iLaw Executive Director.

Over the past three years, Thailand’s human rights record has been reviewed by several UN mechanisms. Thailand was examined by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in April-May 2014 and June 2015 respectively. In May 2016, Thailand underwent its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

“For many years, Thailand has consistently failed to implement most of the key recommendations it received from UN human rights bodies. Sadly, this failure has been amplified by further repressive policies and abuses committed by the NCPO, which has rendered Thailand’s human rights commitments completely meaningless,” Jaturong Boonyarattanasoontorn, UCL Chairman.


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