NATIONAL HUMAN Rights Commission (NHRC) President What Tingsmith said on Tuesday the attempt to remove human rights commissioners under the organic law governing the agency might have stemmed from "those in power"s’ dissatisfaction with certain commissioners.
However, What said he did not understand why all the commission members had to be removed when he had been informed that the “powers-that-be” were not satisfied with certain individuals.
People were already lining up to fill the positions in the event that the current commission is dismissed, he said, while some were in their late 60s and might not be able to wait due to the age qualification.
Asked who were the individuals the powers-that-be were dissatisfied with, What said he was not sure and could not confirm the state of affairs.
The NHRC on Tuesday received the organic bill, which passed the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) last week, that could reset the whole commission. The body has 10 days to deliberate the draft before lodging any petitions against it and asking for the establishment of a joint committee to revise the bill.
What said an NHRC meeting had resolved that it would fight the dismissal of all members as proposed in the bill.
The stipulation violated the new Constitution, which promotes rights and freedom, he said.
He also said that he would maintain his current position even if he were the only one fighting the dismissal in the case that a joint revision committee is established.
The rationale that all of the commissioners had to be dismissed to bring the agency up to international standards did not have any merit, What said, adding that other factors such as legislation regarding rights and freedom and the commission’s responses to human rights violations were more relevant.