Thailand Issues 2016Bangladesh 2016 Issues
In this month we bring you prose and poetry from Thailand, a country that mourns its beloved king while dealing with accelerated development. In April, a new constitution came into force, drawn up by a body appointed by the military and adopted in a national referendum in August 2016.
2016 World Report: Human Rights Watch Thailand
In spite of early pledges to re-establish in a year, the regime began exercising increasing dictatorship in 2015, continuing the systematic suppression of basic human liberties and liberties. As of 31 March 2015, the nation-wide implementation of the Martial Law Act of 1914 was superseded by Section 44 of the Transitional Constitutional Treaty. At least 80 persons have been detained since the attempted takeover and sent to army tribunals to organise or participate in non-violent open meetings.
As of the date of the letter, at least 27 persons were detained and indicted for insurrection for criticism of the Burmese government and violation of the junta's prohibition of open meeting, among them 14 New Democracy Movement militants in Bangkok, who were detained in June 2015. December 8, Thanakorn Siripaiboon, a 27-year-old plant employee, was detained and indicted for insurrection and cybercrime for spreading Facebook info graphics claiming to be corrupted by Prayut and other Rajabhakti Park leader.
Last April, the agencies discontinued the programs of Peace TV and TV 24 and accused the broadcasters of infringing the NCPO's prohibition to criticize the war. Fah Hai TV was closed by the government in November for the same reason. The Human Rights Watch website in Thailand is still in a deadlock because the Thai government considers it a menace to international law and order.
In Bangkok and other counties, armed forces imposed the refusal of more than 60 policy meetings, seminaries and academia on policy and humanitarian issues in 2015 as incidents were threatening the country's stabilization and domestic safety. A NCPO order was issued by the Thai Army and the NCPO to cancel the activities of Amnesty International, the Thai Lawyers for Human rights at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) in Bangkok.
Prayut ordered the rescission of the former Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng's pass in September 2015 to penalize him for his criticism of the MP. Criticism of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is a serious crime in Thailand, and Prayut has made reading majestic (insulting the Monarchy) persecutions one of the NCPO's top priorities.
There have been 56 Reading Majesty cases filed since the attempted takeover, 43 against individual persons for on-line comment. The punishments handed down by army tribunals were tougher than those handed down by civil tribunals before the attempted coup. The Bangkok Pongsak Sriboonpeng court in August 2015 condemned him to 60 years in jail for supposed Facebook posting (later down to 30 years when he confessed guilty).
This was the longest record for Harvest Majesties in Thailand's annals. Last December, the ruling party said that people who are being persecuted for Reading Majesties on Facebook content that the government considers objectionable to the Empire will either leave a note or click "I like". Burmese rulers also criticised aliens for their ever tougher and more random implementation of Thailand's Majesty's Act, with comments from the United States Embassy, who considered Thailand's internal relations intervention as commenting.
The majority were associated with the repressed Pheu Thai Party and the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), known as "Red Shirts", but also political figures, campaigners and reporters charged by the regime with engaging in anti-coup activity or offending the state. Non-fulfilment of an NCPO subpoena is a criminal offence that is being tried before a MP.
As a result of failure to inform the prosecution when they were called, the regime released detention orders and retracted the passes of at least 10 exiles. According to the rules of maritime and, later, Section 44 of the Transitional Constitutional Treaty, the army can apprehend individuals in secret without charges or trials and without having to seek legal counsel or protection against ill-treatment.
While the NCPO has summary rejected claims that the army has abused and abused prisoners, it has provided no proof to refute these serious claims. On 24 November, Human Rights Watch filed a note with the Thai authorities expressing serious concern about the terms and circumstances at the Army Circle after the recent death of fortune teller Suriyan Sucharitpolwong and police chief Prakrom Warunprapa - both indicted for Reading Majesties - during their imprisonment there.
In 2015, the use of unindependent and non-compliant armed forces tribunals to convict civil servants - mostly dissident politicians and presumed majesties - has soared. Prime Minister General Prayut has often said that troops should not be convicted of violent propagation of UDD road protest in April and May 2010, in which 90 persons were killed and more than 2,000 wounded - despite proof that most of the victims were caused by the use of deadly or undue killing by troops.
In those days, no member of the army was accused of murdering and injuring a civilian. However, the UDD has speeded up the investigation in cases where people associated with the UDD used force in 2010, and the UDD leadership and supporter are facing serious legal allegations. On the other hand, little headway has been made in the investigation or prosecution of allegations of violations and crimes by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the so-called "Yellow Shirts", and the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) in the years 2008 and 2013-2014.
More than 6,000 Muslims from Malaysia and Thai Buddhists have been murdered in conflicts in the south of Thailand since January 2004. Although a peaceful dialog between the Thai authorities and Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) and other militarized secessionist groups in the loosely divided Majlis Syura Patani (Mara Patani) networks, which began in August 2015, has led to a decline in violence, both sides have perpetrated serious breaches of the law of human right and the law of combat.
Thailand's military personnel have not been persecuted for a large number of murders, tortures and other abuse against Muslims of Malaysia ethnically. Many of the cases in which the Thailand administration paid pecuniary reparation to the victim or his family if they agreed to refrain from prosecuting improper officers. Investigations by the Karen ethnical activists Por Cha Lee Rakchongcharoen, known as "Billy", who was violently missing after being detained by officers in Kaengkrachan National Park in Petchaburi County on April 17, 2014, made no headway in the area.
To date, the Thai government has not been able to solve one of the 64 cases of disappearances notified by Human Rights Watch, such as the "disappearance" and the alleged assassination of celebrity Islamic attorney Somchi Neelapaijit by a group of policemen in March 2004. In January 2012 Thailand initialled the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Disappearances but did not ratify the agreement.
The Phuket Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison, Phuketwan on-line journalist, were released in September 2015 for having been charged with defamatory crimes and violation of the Computer Crimes Act for releasing a passage from a Reuters feature on Rohingya boatmen allegedly involved in the Thai Navy's traffic in humans.
The Yala State Attorney in a trial of Pornpen Khongkachonkiet and the Cross Cultural Foundation in June 2015 ordered her to stay away from persecution.
In spite of favourable results in the above cases, Thai government and non-governmental organizations have continue to slander those who have reported atrocities. The Southern Bangkok Court on August 24, 2015 accused Andy Hall, a migrants' right campaigner, in a complaint by Natural Fruit Co.
one of Thailand's largest pinapple growers, for a story claiming serious labour law violations at one of its plants. Thailand-Italy is not a contracting state to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. The Thai government treats asylum applicants as irregular immigrants and arrests and deportations are necessary.
By repatriating refuges and applicants for political refugee status to places where they are likely to be persecuted, the Thailand administration continues to break the rules banning deportation (violent return) internationally. Despite demands to the contrary from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) and several overseas administrations, on 9 July 2015 the Thailand government violently sent at least 109 Uyghurs back to China.
The Thai goverment in November returned the defenders of the UNHCR's refugee status, Dong Guangping and Jiang Yefei, to China for reintroduction into Canada. By May 2015, the Thai authority had found at least 30 corpses in an deserted refugee centre in Songkhla county near the Thai-Malaysian frontier.
According to policing records, the deceased were Rohingya from Burma and Bangladesh who were starving or dying of abuse or illness while being detained by human trafficking, who waited for ransoms before being smuggled into Malaysia. Paween Pongsirin, the case's lead detective, stepped down in November and fled Thailand to search for refuge in Australia because he was afraid of reprisals and had not been protected by his superiors.
There was an ³cInternational Meeting³d in Thailand on 22 May, addressing tens of thousand Rohingya refugees and immigrants who had been lost at sea in small vessels, but unlike Malaysia and Indonesia, Thailand declined to work with the UNHCR to carry out investigations to determine the refugees' situation or to provide shelter for the rescuers. In spite of the dangers that people are exposed to on the vessels, the Thai government has taken regular measures to avoid Rohingya vessels ending up in Thailand.
In many cases, vessels were caught and forced back into the ocean after they received basic human aid and deliveries from Thai agencies. Burmese, Cambodian and Lao migrants are susceptible to abuse by law enforcement and administrative bodies and to abuse by both employer and criminal groups, which includes acts of sex abuse and overwork.
The trade in immigrants for sexual work or on Thai fishermen' s vessels continued to be an urgent problem in 2015. Thailand-Hungary is continuing to hold undocumented minors and family members with minors in breach of internationally accepted norms. Drugs abusers are sent to "rehabilitation centres", most of which are run by the army and the Ministry of the Interior, where "treatment" mainly involves physically active militarily with little or no outreach.
Thailand's highest administration tribunal ordered the Thai authorities to withdraw the leaden from the stream on 10 January 2013, but the Thai Ministry of the Environment has not yet begun to properly restore it. In September, the Thai Equality Act came into force, a statute that specifically prevents sexism.
In 2015, the UN and Thailand's main Thai coalition partners - among them the US, the European Union and Japan - called on the Burmese government to continue to promote the observance of fundamental freedoms and to restore the Burmese state as soon as possible through free and free election to a civic democracy. A November 2015 World Accreditation Bureau proposed a downgrade of the Thai National Commission on Human rights due to concern over its insufficient autonomy, inefficiency and procedures for the selection of commissaire.
Downgrading would mean that the European Union would lose its privilege to address the UN Human Rights Council. Following a bombing in Bangkok on 17 August, in which at least 20 persons were murdered and 125 others injured, the Thai police detained Bilal Muhammad and Meiraili Yusufu, Uighurs from China. They have been brought to justice in a judicial proceeding for assassination and illicit arms seizure.
Persons Report of the US State Department held Thailand in Tier 3 for another year because it did not tackle it. The European Commission formally requested Thailand in April 2015 for inadequate action in the global effort to tackle IUUU.