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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

Manushya Highlights Unconstitutional Delay of Thailand's Anti-Torture Act



Can you ever imagine that torture by state authorities still persists to this day, while the government fails to take decisive action to stop it? Today, June 26, 2023, marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, and at Manushya Foundation we are shedding light on Thailand's Anti-torture act.


Thai Government's delayed enactment was unconstitutional


On February 14, 2023, the Thai government approved a decree postponing the enforcement of articles 22 to 25 of the Act on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance. Originally scheduled to take effect on February 22, the implementation has been delayed until October 1.


However, on 18 May 2023, the Constitutional Court invalidated the government’s decree ruling it is unconstitutional for the Thai Government to postpone the enforcement of articles 22 to 25 of the Act on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance.


Following this, the government has established a committee to establish guidelines that ensure state agencies adhere to the regulations outlined in the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act.


In response to the recent ruling by the Constitutional Court, the government has taken action by implementing measures to address the violation of Section 172 of the constitution. The ruling deemed the executive decree, which delayed the enforcement of Sections 22-25 of the law until October 1, to be in violation.


We urge the Thai Government to act swiftly and take quicker initiatives to bring justice to victims of torture!


Thailand's case of torture & enforced disappearances by state officials


A few evident examples of alleged torture cases and enforced disappearances by Thai state officials occur in Southern Thailand, where ethnic Malays are suspected of insurgency, as well as prominent Thai activist Wanchelerm Satsakit's enforced disappearance.


Thailand has a record of 92 cases of alleged enforced disappearance, with 76 of them remaining unresolved between 1980 and 2022. Additionally, the number of prosecuted perpetrators remains low, highlighting the limited access victims have to effective reparations. As a result, affected families of deceased torture victims have received only little monetary reparations, while the individuals responsible for these crimes have not yet faced legal consequences. The absence of immediate justice raises the question of why proper legal action has not been taken.


Impunity persists


As a result, affected families of unalive tortured victims have received only little monetary reparations, while the individuals responsible for these crimes have not yet faced legal consequences. The absence of immediate justice raises the question of why proper legal action has not been taken.


#WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings


✊🏼Manushya Foundation stands in solidarity with victims of enforced disappearances and torture, and their families, and urges the Thai Government to stop weaponizing ‘bureaucracy’ as an excuse to delay justice. The Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act must be enforced

immediately.


Not only torture and enforced disappearances bring severe physical effects to its victims, but also the degradation of one's mental health. This strips away a person's dignity and their fundamental rights to justice and protection.


Have look at our previous work defending human rights and promoting democracy ⤵️


  1. Joint Statement 'Laos: After 10 years, civil society worldwide is still asking: “Where is Sombath?”,' December 13, 2022

  2. Thailand UPR III Factsheet on Torture and Enforced Disappearances, September 9, 2021

  3. Joint Press Release 'Thailand: Until Enforced Disappearance Is A Crime Under Thai Law,

  4. We Are All At Risk of Disappearing #ItCouldBeYou,' August 30, 2021

  5. Joint Statement 'One Year Later, No Credible Investigation into the Enforced Disappearance of Wanchalearm Satsaksit,' June 4, 2021

  6. Joint Statement 'Cambodia/Laos/Thailand/Vietnam: Address enforced disappearances, deliver justice for the victims and their families,' August 30, 2020

  7. Joint Statement 'Civil society groups urge Laos, Thailand to investigate enforced disappearances, reveal fate of Sombath Somphone and Od Sayavong,' December 15, 2019


References: 1. Bangkok Post, Govt dodges anti-torture law, ( May 24, 2023), available at: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/politics/2576929/govt-dodges-anti-torture-law-bullet


2. Amnesty Thailand, Thailand: Law to address torture and enforced disappearance is an important step toward justice but its full enforcement is critical, (February 22, 2023), available at: https://www.amnesty.or.th/en/latest/news/1090/


3.Human Rights Watch, Thailand: Law on Torture, ‘Disappearance’ Delayed, (February 15, 2023), available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/02/15/thailand-law-torture-disappearance-delayed


4. International Commission of Jurists, Thailand: Law to address torture and enforced disappearance is an important step toward justice but its full enforcement is critical, (February 2, 2023), available at:


5. Thai Enquirer, Court strikes down delays to enforced disappearance act; now what?, (May 29, 2023), available at: https://www.thaienquirer.com/49789/court-strikes-down-delays-to-enforced-disappearance-act-now-what/


6. Bangkok Post, Panel to ensure anti-torture law compliance, (May 31, 2023 ), available at: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2582466/panel-to-ensure-anti-torture-law-compliance

7. The Guardian, The woman on a mission to expose torture in Thailand’s troubled south, (August 21, 2021), available at: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/aug/17/the-woman-on-a-mission-to-expose-torture-in-thailands-troubled-south



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