AMNESTY International’s annual report has drawn attention to global human rights double standards and failure of the international community to continually support the principles of human rights and universal values, Sanook.com said today (Mar. 29).
Regarding the human rights situation in Thailand the NGO said there are many issues of concern including the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, enforced disappearance and torture, as well as ill-treatment of indigenous people, refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants including discrimination.
Prof. Prinya Tewanarumitkula, a lecturer at Thammasat University’s law faculty, said during Amnesty international’s press conference at Sukosol Hotel yesterday that the general election would not lead to change if the unelected senators did not vote for the head of a post-election government according to the will of the people.
Mr. Thitirat Thipsamritkul, chairman of Amnesty International Thailand’s board, drew attention to the West’s alleged “double standards” in dealing with human rights violations.
While the West has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this is in stark contrast to some of its allies, such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, not having taken action to address serious violations including threat to the rights and freedom of women.
“The economic crisis has caused food and fuel prices to skyrocket and there is increasing pressure on health and other social services, where those most severely affected are marginalized.
“Amid growing inequality, women, girls and people of the LGBT community face violence and gender-based discrimination. However, governments have failed to support these people as their status deteriorates.”
Amnesty International submitted seven demands to the Thai government as follows:
– Ensure the right to peaceful assembly and drop charges against those who did so. Investigate officers who broke the law in breaking up rallies and train them on using rubber bullets . Ensure they not use them based on presumption with this being the last resort to end demonstrations;
– Amend or repeal laws that suppress freedom of expression and drop criminal proceeding. Stop halting gatherings to disseminate information and investigate the use of Pegasus spyware;
– Uphold the freedom to form associations and not control or limit their establishment as well as withdraw the draft NGO Act;
– Revise cabinet resolution to postpone enforcement of sections 22-25 in the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act and investigate any allegations that come up;
– Uphold the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in compliance with international obligations and ensure they have access to procedures and not be sent back to their home country as well as release detainees;
– Ensure the rights of indigenous people and maintain a suitable environment for activists defending their rights while bringing those who murdered Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen to justice;
– End the widespread and discriminatory DNA collection and usage of face recognition technology as well as forcing the registration of SIM cards for spying purposes especially in southern border areas.
Amnesty International’s press conference in Bangkok yesterday, March 28, 2023, with Prof. Prinya Tewanarumitkul addressing the meeting in above image. Photos: Sanook.com