Govt faces criticism over rights record, civil society groups warn 

national March 13, 2017 12:31

By The Nation

Thailand’s worsening human rights record will expose the military junta to further international embarrassment during a review of the country by the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR), civil society groups have claimed.

The prediction was made by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisations, the Union for Civil Liberty (UCL) and the Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw).

Thailand’s human rights record will be examined by the CCPR today and tomorrow in Geneva. 

According to the statement, 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, the organisations released “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 May 2014 coup.

FIDH president Dimitris Christopoulos said: “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.”

The joint FIDH, UCL and iLaw report detailed their concerns over what they described as 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 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; and freedom of movement; the right to a 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 [National Council for Peace and Order], the repression of any form of peaceful dissent has reached its highest point in decades,” said iLaw executive director Jon Ungpakorn. 

“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.”

“For many years, Thailand has consistently failed to implement most of the key recommendations it received from UN human rights bodies,” UCL chairman Jaturong Boonyarattanasoontorn said. “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.”