• The government of Yingluck Shinawatra has not yet fulfilled her promise to give priority to human rights. No one has been held responsible for the 98 dead and more than 2,000 injured during the 2010 “Red Shirt” demonstrations. By pushing for a blanket amnesty for corruption and serious abusers related to political confrontations, the government has intensified Thailand’s political divide. Capitalizing on public anger about the ruling party’s manipulation of majority control over the legislative, opposition groups have since November 2013 led hundreds of thousands people to the street to topple the government and prevent elections for members of parliament and senators, triggering street battles with police and pro-government groups. Amidst the deepening political divides, restrictions on free speech and intimidation of the media have increased. Thai authorities enforce censorship and prosecute activists and critics under computer  and lese majeste (insulting the monarchy) laws. In the southern border provinces, separatist insurgents attack civilians and state security forces commit extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearances with impunity. Thai authorities ignore rights abuses against migrant workers. Thailand in some cases violated its international legal obligations not to return refugees and asylum seekers to countries where they were likely to face persecution. Networks of human traffickers preying on Rohingya seeking to travel to Malaysia operated with impunity in Thailand.

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  • Campaign banner made by activists reads "Where Has Lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit Disappeared to?" to mark a decade since human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit disappeared after being pulled from his car by five alleged police officers in Bangkok on March 12, 2004.

    Thai authorities have failed to effectively prosecute officials linked to the enforced disappearance and presumed murder of a prominent Muslim human rights lawyer last seen 10 years ago, Human Rights Watch said today. Six successive Thai prime ministers have admitted government involvement and pledged action in the case of Somchai Neelapaijit, but with little result.

Reports

Thailand

  • Apr 23, 2014
    The Thai authorities should immediately investigate the murder of a prominent poet and “Red Shirt” political activist widely known for his opposition to Thailand’s law banning criticism of the monarchy.
  • Apr 20, 2014
  • Apr 4, 2014
    Separatist groups in Thailand’s southern border provinces have killed at least five Thai Buddhist women, mutilating three of their bodies, since February 2014, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Mar 30, 2014
    Separatist insurgents in Thailand’s southern border provinces should immediately end attacks on teachers and other civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. Since January 2014, insurgents have killed three ethnic Thai Buddhist teachers in the conflict-ridden region.
  • Mar 21, 2014
    The government of Thailand should ensure that 112 newly detained people believed to be ethnic Uighurs are not forcibly returned to China, Human Rights Watch said today. Thai authorities detained the group in Sa Kaew province near the Thai-Cambodia border and brought them to the central Immigration Detention Center in Bangkok. A senior Thai Immigration Bureau official said that Chinese officials with access to the group identified at least 30 as Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim and Turkic minority that originates from western China.
  • Mar 11, 2014
    Thai authorities have failed to effectively prosecute officials linked to the enforced disappearance and presumed murder of a prominent Muslim human rights lawyer last seen 10 years ago, Human Rights Watch said today. Six successive Thai prime ministers have admitted government involvement and pledged action in the case of Somchai Neelapaijit, but with little result.
  • Mar 6, 2014
    Thai authorities should not bring criminal defamation and computer crimes charges against two journalists who reported on abuses by the Thai navy against ethnic Rohingya migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian of the Phuketwan online newspaper were told to report to the Phuket provincial public prosecution office on March 10, 2014, where they might be formally charged.
  • Feb 19, 2014
    Unlawful actions by Thai police and protesters threaten further violence in Thailand’s ongoing political conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. Thai authorities and protest leaders should take all necessary steps to end politically motivated violence and lawbreakers on all sides should be prosecuted.
  • Jan 28, 2014
    Protest leaders in Thailand should immediately end their campaign to obstruct voting in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The Thai authorities should permit peaceful protest but also ensure security forces do not commit abuses, while intervening impartially to prevent and stop violence by any group. The leaders of all political groups should act to prevent escalating violence by their supporters.
  • Jan 21, 2014
    The government of Thailand made little progress over the past year in resolving persistent human rights problems in the country.