“Fundamental rights at stake in Thailand” – UN experts concerned about arbitrary detentions and restrictions
GENEVA (13 June 2014) – “Stability and reconciliation can hardly be achieved in Thailand if human rights guarantees are neglected,” a group of United Nations independent experts* said today, while urging the current authorities to reverse all measures affecting basic rights and to restore democratic rule in the country.
“In moments of political crisis and turbulence, it is crucial to promote the full respect of the rule of law,” the human rights experts stressed.
“The various limitations to fundamental rights put in place since the military assumed control of the country and the Constitution was suspended are deeply disturbing,” they noted. “Reportedly numerous individuals remain arbitrarily detained, and unacceptable restrictions continue to be imposed on freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”
Particular concern was expressed with regard to the chilling effects of the summoning by the military of more than 440 individuals, including political leaders, academics, journalists and activists to army bases. Many remain in detention without access to family or a lawyer. Some are held incommunicado in unknown locations and may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
“Public criticism of authorities and the freedom of the Thai media are negatively affected by various measures, including the ban on political
gatherings of more than five persons and the reported closure of a vast number of community radios,” they said.
“Restoring the space for public dialogue is crucial to allow durable solutions to the political impasse affecting Thailand to be forged,” the
The group of experts requested information from the current authorities on multiple allegations of human rights violations they received after the imposition of martial law on 22 May 2014.
“We remain ready to engage in dialogue with the country authorities,” concluded the experts.
(*) The experts: Mr. Mads Andenas, Chair-rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Mr. Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Mr. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and Mr. Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The United Nations human rights experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights, is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.
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