Friday, 18 December 2020

Letter to UK Foreign Secretary on Current Human Rights Situation in Thailand, December 2020

Dear Dominic,

 As a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political (ICCPR), Thailand is obligated to uphold the principles enshrined in the ICCPR. Those include the right to peaceful assembly under Article 21, the right to hold opinions without interference under Article 19, and the freedom of association under Article 22. The Thai government has failed to uphold these obligations. Hence, we ask that you stand with us in upholding the principles of free human beings with civil and political freedom, and the obligation to promote universal respect for human rights. We urge that you condemn the illegitimate force used against peaceful protestors in Thailand and call on the Thai authorities to heed the demand of protestors and respect human rights.


The crackdown on people’s civil and political rights continues in Thailand, as the government and connected authorities carry out their crackdown on human rights and protestors. Towards the end of November and the start of December, the authorities have escalated their efforts in attempting to subdue the on-going protests in Thailand. This has seen the increased use of protest suppression techniques, which are not in line with international standards, and the use of judicial means to tighten their control of free expression in Thailand. This is highlighted by Thailand Prime Minister – Gen. Prayut Chan O’Cha’s statement in which he expressed every law possible would be used to crackdown on protestors. In attempts to disperse the demonstrators in front of the parliamentary building, the use of tear-gas, high-pressured water cannons mixed with irritable chemicals, and rubber bullets were employed. The sentiment that these actions are beyond international standards has been echoed by various human rights experts and they continue to ring true. The two articles exercised the most by authorities have been Article 116 (Sedition) and Article 112 (Lese Majeste). Both laws have been used to suppress the people’s right to free expression and protest. As of the 16th December, the number of those accused of lese majeste has increased to at least 30. Many of those charged with these offences are prominent protest leaders who have done nothing more than exercise their rights to free speech and protest. However, it is clear that the Thai regime is willing to exercise the full weight of its unchecked power on its own people. The use of these draconian laws needs to stop. The authoritarian nature and acts of this regime has forced people out to protest and now they are being cracked down upon for exercising their human rights.


It is our consideration that the United Kingdom shares the same values of respect for democracy and human rights. Hence, the Thailand Human Rights Campaign UK would like to urge you to condemn the actions of Thai authorities, call for the release of political prisoners, to drop all charges against peaceful protesters and for the government to heed the demands of the people.



Thailand Human Rights Campaign UK

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