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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

#InternationalDayofDemocracy: There can be no democracy without digital rights!

#InternationalDayofDemocracy 💻🚩There can be no democracy without digital rights!

🗓 Every year on September 15, we honor International Day of Democracy and reflect on the current state of each country’s democracy – whether it has progressed or how much it has deteriorated. According to the Economist’s Democracy Index 2021, Thailand was categorized as a “flawed democracy”.

⚖️ Democracy cannot flourish without respect for basic human rights, and this especially rings true for Thailand. Those who have stood up to the dictatorial regime find themselves being deprived of numerous basic human rights. In addition to being charged under repressive laws for their online activism, pro-democracy protesters have been surveilled through the Pegasus spyware, which the Thai government admitted it uses for “national security” purposes.

📲 One of the targets was Panusya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a prominent youth activist known for her monarchy reform demands and currently facing 10 lèse-majesté charges. She was hacked with Pegasus in 2021, and the infections took place around the same time as ongoing demonstrations. Civil society groups believe hackers were after insider information such as identities and whereabouts of the protest leaders.

🔇 Targeted surveillance is only one among many other tools the government has exploited to shut down dissent, intimidate its critics, and ultimately hinder democratic process.

#WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings

On #InternationalDayofDemocracy2022, we call on the Thai government to respect its international human rights obligations to pave the way for a true, thriving democracy. Digital rights must be protected and all forms of harassment against activists, including through digital means, must stop!

🔗 Read more about our work on digital rights and the injustice inflicted on democracy fighters ➡️


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