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Urgently Locate Wanchalearm Satsaksit

(Bangkok) – Cambodian authorities should urgently investigate the abduction of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a prominent Thai pro-democracy activist living in exile in Phnom Penh, and publicly reveal their findings, Human Rights Watch said today. Human…
Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a prominent Thai pro-democracy activist living in exile in Cambodia, was abducted in Phnom Penh on June 4, 2020.
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Stop Using Covid-19 Measures as Pretext to Violate Rights

(Bangkok) – The Thai government’s extension of its state of emergency is an apparent pretext for violating basic rights, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 26, 2020, the government of Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha extended the draconian…
Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-Ocha delivers a televised speech in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2020. 
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Policy Statement Fails to Address Major Concerns

(New York) – The new Thai government’s policy statement fails to provide a pathway for restoring respect for human rights after five years of military rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha will present the…
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha arrives for a group photo with his cabinet members at the government house in Bangkok.  © 2019 Vichan Poti/Pacific Press/Sipa USA via AP Images
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Critics Intimidated, Forced to Apologize

(New York) – Thai authorities are harassing and intimidating social critics for mocking Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha after he assumed the premiership for another term, Human Rights Watch said today. In three instances in June…
Thai authorities ordered a French man Yan Marchal to give a public apology and delete his parody music video that makes fun on the National Council for Peace and Order junta. ©2019 Yan Marchal
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Abuses Persist Five Years After Coup

Since Thailand’s military seized power on May 22, 2014, the country has faced unending repression of fundamental rights and freedoms. Five years after the coup, Thailand is nowhere near the “return to democratic, civilian rule” the National Council…
Soldiers line up for voting in general election at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, March 24, 2019. Nearly five years after a coup, Thailand was voting Sunday in a long-delayed election that sets a military-backed party against the populist
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Stacked Senate, Media Restrictions, Repressive Laws Undermine Right to Vote

(New York) – Thailand’s military government has failed to create conditions for a free and fair national election on March 24, 2019, Human Rights Watch said. The process for forming a new government, in which the junta-appointed Senate…
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks during a press conference about government's achievements at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.
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Still No Justice for Somchai Neelapaijit and Other Victims

Fifteen years ago this week, I received a phone call in the middle of the night with the news that Somchai Neelapaijit had gone missing. At the time, Somchai was chair of Thailand’s Muslim Lawyers Association and vice-chair of the Human Rights…
A sketch of Somchai Neelapaijit.
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Fully Restore Basic Rights Ahead of February Elections

(New York) – Thailand’s junta should immediately end restrictions on the right to free expression so that credible national elections can be held on February 24, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 11, 2018, the ruling…
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Lift Restrictions on Fundamental Rights to Enable Free and Fair Elections

(New York) – Thailand’s military junta should immediately lift restrictions on civil and political rights so that upcoming national elections can be free and fair, Human Rights Watch said today. The laws on the election of members of parliament and…
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Computer Crime Charges Threaten Media Coverage of Abuses

(New York) – Thai authorities are wrongfully prosecuting online news outlets and social media users for reporting an alleged rape case at a popular tourist island in Thailand, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 4 and 5, 2018, police arrested…
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London-Based Dissident Targeted for Arrest for Criticizing Military Rule

Before Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha meets UK Prime Minister Theresa May in London this Wednesday, the junta’s long arm of repression has already reached there, targeting critics of the government.  Thai authorities issued the…
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures as he leaves Thai Union company in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
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Press Visiting Junta Leader to Fulfill Promises on Rights, Democracy

(London) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron should press Thailand’s junta leader to respect human rights and ensure a rapid transition to democratic civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Gen…
A Pro-democracy activist holds a fan during protest against junta near Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
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Crackdown ‘Makes Mockery’ of Pledges to Restore Democracy

(New York) – Thai authorities should immediately drop all charges and unconditionally release 14 pro-democracy activists who peacefully expressed opposition to military rule, Human Rights Watch said today. The 14 are charged with sedition, which…
Pro-democracy activist Rome Rangsiman (C) holds up a Thailand flag as anti-government protesters gather during a protest to demand that the military government hold a general election by November, in Bangkok, Thailand, May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawong
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Policymakers, Soldiers Escape Accountability for Violence Against ‘Red Shirts’

Eight years ago my colleagues and I watched as the streets of Bangkok were covered with blood in one of Thailand’s most violent political confrontations. Yet there is still no justice for the at least 98 people killed and more than 2,000 injured…
On August 30, 2017, Phayao Akhard wears the bloody nurses gown worn by her daughter, nurse Kamolkate “Kate” Akhard, when she was killed by Thai Special Forces soldiers while tending wounded persons at the front of Wat Pathum temple on May 19, 2010.
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Military Targets Outspoken Activist and Media for Defamation

(New York) – The Thai military should immediately withdraw criminal and civil defamation cases against a human rights activist who spoke out publicly about his torture by security forces in Thailand’s southern border provinces, Human Rights…
Ismae Teh, a prominent human rights activist, faces defamation charges for speaking out publicly about being torture by the Thai military.
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Fulfill Pledges, Restore Democratic Rule

(New York) – Thailand’s human rights agenda will be meaningless until the government fulfills its repeated pledges to respect basic rights and restore democratic rule, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 12, 2018, Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth…
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures during a news conference after a weekly cabinet meeting at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, January 9, 2018.
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Repression Continues Under Military Dictatorship

(New York) – Thailand’s government took no significant steps to restore democratic rule and basic freedoms in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. The military junta’s adoption of a national human rights agenda and…
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Pheu Thai Spokeswoman Targeted for Criticizing Junta Leader

(New York) – Thai military authorities have accused a political party official of committing sedition and computer crimes for posting commentary critical of the junta on her Facebook page, Human Rights Watch said today. Sunisa Lertpakawat, the Pheu Thai…
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Outspoken Journalist, Ex-Ministers Face Baseless Sedition Allegations

(New York) – Thailand’s military government has charged a journalist and two prominent political critics with sedition and computer crimes for Facebook commentary critical of the junta, Human Rights Watch said today. The criminal cases…
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Free Expression Hampered by Climate of Fear

Thai junta leader, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, says he is ready to listen to the Thai people about the country’s future. So, starting this week, the Prime Minister’s Office will dutifully report public opinions every 10 days…
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