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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

On Human Rights Day 2021, not everyone in Thailand could celebrate

#WhatsHappeningInThailand ⚠️ In December, we commemorated Human Rights Day. In Thailand, there were many who couldn't celebrate.

🔴 Panusaya 'Rung' Sithijirawattanakul who has been finally granted bail to take her university exams. She is walking 'free' but cannot leave her house except to study and has to wear an electronic bracelet. The crime? Telling truth to power!

🔴 Warit Somnoi, a 15-year old who has been shot during one of the violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in August 2021 and died two months later as a result of this.

🔴 Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a critic of the military junta and the 2014 coup, disappeared from his home in Cambodian exile. More than a year later, there is no substantial effort by the Thai authorities to investigate the case.

🔴 These are crimes of a cruel regime that does not accept any criticism, a regime that likes to keep the status quo to keep the rich and privileged in power. The most recent example? On 10 November 2021, the Constitutional Court decided that any calls for a reform of the 'lèse majesté' law are unconstitutional and equal efforts to overthrow the monarchy.

Ironically, on the same day, Thailand was finally made to explain its repression of freedoms of expression, assembly and limitations of the civic space, including the deeply flawed 2020 NGO Bill, at its 3rd UPR Review. Countries from around the world expressed their concerns over the worsening situation of civil and political rights - and the Thai delegation still attempted to present Thailand as a human rights champion!

#WeAreManushyan - Equal Human Beings

How did we support the UPR process?

#VoicesOfThailand We created a UPR Factsheet, a comprehensive summary of the most urgent issues of civic space in Thailand, and undertook extensive lobbying to make sure that concerns of the pro-democracy activists, human rights defenders and civil society in Thailand are heard loud and clear!

The international community has heard this message and made sure that Thailand was held accountable for its human rights violations. During its 3rd UPR Review, Thailand received 18 recommendations calling for respect to the freedom of expression (the Government accepted 7), 14 recommendations on the freedom of peaceful assembly (accepted 3), 12 recommendations concerning Article 112 of the Criminal Code, lèse-majesté, (none accepted so far) and 9 recommendations calling for a revision of draft legislation on the operations of non-profit organizations (none accepted so far).

✊ We call on the Government of Thailand to accept and fully implement all remaining recommendations!

Learn more about the issue in our UPR Factsheet on Civic Space in Thailand! Access here.

Amazing illustration by Ivana Kurniawati

❤️ The UPR Advocacy Factsheets were developed thanks to the financial support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Thailand and the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) administrated by the Embassy of Canada to Thailand.


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