PSPD in English Int. Solidarity 2014-05-28   1378

[Statement] Thailand: Human Rights Situation Rapidly Deteriorating as Political Impasse Continues

FORUM-ASIA Statement: 27 May 2014

Thailand: Human Rights Situation Rapidly Deteriorating as Political Impasse Continues


The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a regional human rights group with 47 member organisation across 16 countries in Asia, registers its deep concern at the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Thailand following the imposition of martial law since 20 May 2014 and subsequently a military coup on 22 May 2014. Increasing restrictions have been imposed on the exercise and enjoyment of basic rights and freedoms while violations continue unabated without any accountability or safeguard mechanisms put in place by the military government.


In a time of deep political turmoil and uncertainty, the restrictions on press freedom – through the initial silencing of TV stations and channels, sweeping restrictions on print, broadcast and online media, blocking of websites and threats to shut down social media – are particularly worrying as people are denied access to crucial information, critical analysis and the opportunity to discuss issues of national importance. This is further exacerbated by the recent summons and arrests of academics, journalists and other media practitioners who continued to report on or speak out against the coup and for alternative solution.


FORUM-ASIA calls for the rescinding of all restrictions that prevent the access of the public to timely and accurate reports and called on the authorities to allow the media to operate in an environment that is conducive for the discharging of their professional duty.


We are also disturbed by the arbitrary arrest and detention of persons, including politicians, political activists, academics, journalists and anti-coup peaceful protesters, by the military. To date, the whereabouts of a number of those detained have not been disclosed. They have also not been duly informed of the reasons for arrest or formally charged in court. This is in clear violation of Thailand’s international legal obligations as a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which stipulates the strict and limited application of emergency powers. This is further compounded by the recent announcement by the military to subject violators of security laws and standing orders to court-martial proceedings.


FORUM-ASIA is further deeply concerned by the incidences of clashes and the use of excessive force between military personnel and civilians during anti-coup protests that have been held in various parts of Bangkok. We urge the National Council for Peace and Order for restraint and its soldiers to observe maximum tolerance in handling voices of dissent and protestors to maintain diligence to avoid further violations of rights.


Finally, FORUM-ASIA calls for the prompt re-establishment of the rule of law as well as respect and protection of human rights in this turbulent period. We stress that these concerns must not be disregarded even as the country attempts to find a way out of the political impasse. We further emphasise that it is imperative for all actors involved to find, at the earliest, a democratic solution to the current political situation.


Released by the Executive Committee of FORUM-ASIA:


1.     Mr. Henri Tiphagne, People’s Watch, India (Chairperson)

2.     Mr. Peter Jacob, National Commission for Justice and Peace, Pakistan

3.     Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, Odhikar, Bangladesh

4.     Sister Crescencia L. Lucero, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Philippines

5.     Mr. Haris Azhar, The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), Indonesia

6.     Ms. Chalida Tajaroensuk, People’s Empowerment Foundation, Thailand

7.     Mr. Taeho Lee, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), South Korea


On behalf of the following member organisations of FORUM-ASIA:



ASK – Ain O Salish Kendra

MLAA – Madaripur Legal Aid Association


RIC – Resource Integration Center



HREIB – Human Rights Education Institute of Burma



ADHOC – Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association

LICADHO – Cambodia League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights 



ADHIKAR – Center for Social Action Documentation Research & Training

Dalit Foundation

FARR – Friends’ Association for Rural Reconstruction

MASUM – Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha

PW – People’s Watch

PVCHR – People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights

RDS-LRSA – Rural Development Society

SICHREM – South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring



AJI – The Alliance of Independent Journalists Indonesia

HRWG – Indonesia’s NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy – Human Rights Working Group

IMPARSIAL – Inisiatif Masyarakat Partisipatif untuk Transisi Berkeadilan

KontraS – The Federation of Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence

PBHI – Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association

SAMIN – Yayasan Sekretariat Anak Merdeka Indonesia

YLBHI – Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation



ERA Consumer – Education and Research Association for Consumers

SUARAM – Suara Rakyat Malaysia



CHRD – Center for Human Rights and Development

GI – Globe International



CSRC – Community Self Reliance Centre

INSEC – Informal Sector Service Center

WWS – Women’s Welfare Society



B4A – Bytes for All (ICTs for development, democracy and social justice)

HRCP – Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

NCJP – National Commission for Justice and Peace

PODA – Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy

SPARC – Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child



PAHRA – Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates

PLRC – PILIPINA Legal Resources Center

TFDP – Task Force Detainees of the Philippines

Tanggol-Kalikasan – Public Interest Environmental Law Office



Think Centre


South Korea

KHIS – Korean House for International Solidarity

PSPD – People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy


Sri Lanka

INFORM – Information Monitor

LST – Law and Society Trust


Taiwan, Province of China

TAHR – Taiwan Association for Human Rights



People’s Empowerment Foundation


Timor Leste

HAK Association – Perkumpulan Hukum, Hak Asasi dan Keadilan (Law, Basic Rights, and Justice Foundation)

JSMP – Judicial System Monitoring Programme

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