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Lawyers Slam Thailand’s Junta for Cancellation of Human Rights Discussion



Police officers inside the Foreign Correspondents Club to deliver letters to human rights panelists

Police officers inside the Foreign Correspondents Club to deliver letters to human rights panelists


BANGKOK –  Head of the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), Yaowalak Anupan has told reporters that Thailand’s human rights situation shows no signs of improvement, one year after Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s Military coup.

Ms.Yaowalak Anupan was discussing (TLHR) 18-page report outside the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) Thursday evening after the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and police ordered it not to use the venue for talks to discuss its findings.

The NCPO is the official name for Thailand’s junta — the National Council for the Restoration of Peace and Order.

According to the Bangkok Post, Ms Yaowalak said cancellation of a talk about the human rights situation is in itself already a farce. The interim charter recognizes international principles on human rights, and what we are discussing is exactly within human rights norms. If we, the human rights lawyers, can’t talk about human rights, then who can?”

As the country enters the second year of junta rule, the human rights situation is not improving, she said. There was excessive use of force against student protesters on the coup’s anniversary, she said, and too many summonses were being issued.

“As we speak, the military prosecutor has filed charges against four members of the Resistance Citizen group at the military court and they are awaiting bail,” she said.

Since the coup, the military has forced the cancellation of, or intervened in 72 forums and discussions, including this one. They have arrested over 700 people, and curbed freedom of expression, Ms Yaowalak said.

She blasted the National Legislative Assembly’s charter proposals, including the extension of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s tenure, saying human rights advocates would not be duped by the “junta-appeasing mechanism that only speaks for their own well-paid careers”.

“The TLHR does not support or respect findings by bodies which are not legitimate or established. We’re now concerned with the fact the leadership has intervened in the prosecution of perpetrators in the 2010 crackdown.”


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