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Draft Law Falls Short of 2020 Constitutional Court ruling

Thailand's parliament is set to pass a law to permit abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The law represents some progress in a country that currently threatens to imprison people who have abortions at any stage of their pregnancy but falls…
Protesters led by the Woman Help Woman group, the Free Feminist and other women's rights groups march to Parliament to protest Thailand's abortion law, Bangkok, December 23, 2020 
News

Emergency Powers Used to Silence Critics

Thai authorities are using Covid-19 regulations as a convenient rationale to silence peaceful critics of the government. On the evening of May 13, Bangkok police arrested prominent pro-democracy activist Anurak Jeantawanich for violating the…
Supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship — known as the “Red Shirts” — held a remembrance service in Bangkok on May 13, 2020 to demand justice for those killed and wounded by the military during the crackdown on the 2010 political protests.
News

Persistently Press Abusive Leaders to End Violations

Authoritarian-leaning countries in southeast Asia are using the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to further repress human rights, which the Australian government cannot afford to ignore. In Cambodia, a new state of emergency law will further…
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures during a speech on the current state of a new virus from China in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.
News

People Living on the Streets Can’t ‘Stay at Home’

How can people “stay at home” if they are homeless? Police arrested Tui, a homeless man in the city of Chiang Mai, on April 5 for violating the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew the Thai government imposed as an emergency measure to contain the Covid-19…
A homeless man sits beside the road outside the Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok, Thailand, April 9, 2020.
News

Hundreds Infected, Healthcare Paralyzed

At least 102 healthcare workers in Thailand have been infected with Covid-19, sending their hospitals into partial lockdown and suspending most services for up to 14 days. With grim statistics like these, it is clear bolder steps are urgently…
A man in a Hazmat suite talks with a nurse at a makeshift screening facility outside Rajadamnern boxing stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, March 19, 2020.
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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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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.
News

Southern Insurgents Interfere With Children’s Right to Health

Sometimes it’s incredibly easy to save a child’s life. Two doses of the measles vaccine into a child’s arm or thigh is almost 100 percent effective at preventing a disease that starts with a simple fever, but can rapidly progress and…
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News

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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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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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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News

Payao Arrested While Protesting Army’s Killing of Her Daughter

Kamolkate “Kate” Akhad was a 25-year-old nurse tending to an injured man in a Buddhist temple compound in Bangkok on May 19, 2010, when Thai Special Forces soldiers shot and killed her. She was among the last victims of months of…
Payao Akhad performs at a Walk for Justice at Wat Pathum Wanaram, Bangkok, on May 19, 2017.