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Thailand: Deadly Bomb Attack in Bangkok

Authorities Should Commit to Respect Rights and Due Process

(New York) – The bomb attack that occurred in Bangkok’s commercial district on the evening of August 17, 2015, was a callous act of violence against civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. No individuals or groups have claimed responsibility for the explosion that killed at least 20 civilians and wounded 125 others.

Experts investigate the Erawan shrine at the site of a deadly blast in central Bangkok, Thailand on August 18, 2015. © 2015 Reuters

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “There is no acceptable justification or excuse for this deliberate attack on civilians.”

The explosion occurred at about 7 p.m. near Bangkok’s famous Brahmin statue at the Erawan Shrine on Ratchaprasong intersection, packed with rush hour commuters and tourists, many of whom were visiting the shrine. Thai and foreign media posted shocking footage and photos of the scene of the bombing, including those killed and wounded by the blast. The Bangkok Metropolitan Police said the improvised explosive device was made of a metal pipe, packed with TNT and ball bearings.

On August 18, at about 1:20 p.m., an unknown assailant threw a pipe bomb from Bangkok’s Taksin Bridge onto a crowded platform at the Sathorn boat pier. It bounced off and detonated harmlessly in the water.

“In the face of horrific attacks, it is more important than ever for the Thai government to show a strong commitment to the rule of law,” Adams said.

Human Rights Watch said that the Thai authorities should take all necessary steps to conduct a serious, impartial, and transparent investigation to bring those responsible to justice, while ensuring that due process rights are respected.

“Upholding due process and the principles of fair trials for those responsible will be key not only for delivering justice to the victims, but also for combatting the extremism that gave rise to this heinous crime,” Adams said.

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