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Risk of Long Pretrial Detention in Lese Majeste Cases

(New York) – Thailand’s Bangkok Criminal Court has ordered three prominent democracy activists to pretrial detention on charges of insulting the monarchy, Human Rights Watch said today. The order could leave them detained for years until their trial…
Jatupat "Pai" Boonpattararaksa plays his Isan Harp during the demonstration.
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Abusive Use of Lese Majeste Law to Silence Critics

(New York) – The Bangkok Criminal Court has denied bail requests and ordered four prominent democracy activists into pretrial detention on lese majeste charges, Human Rights Watch said today. The order could condemn them to detention for years until…
Activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, left Parit Chiwarak, and Arnon Nampha raise a three-finger salute, a symbol of resistance, as they arrive at Criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.
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Basic Freedoms Stifled Amid Youth-Led Democracy Uprising

(New York, January 13, 2021) – Thailand’s government in 2020 escalated its repression of basic rights in the face of a growing, youth-led democracy movement demanding political and constitutional reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in its World…
A high school student holds up the three-finger salute and gives a speech at a youth-led rally in Chiang Mai, Thailand on August 25, 2020. © 2020 Supitcha Chailom
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End Suppression of Media, Free Expression

(Bangkok) – The Thai government’s shutdown of the outspoken Voice TV channel misuses Thailand’s emergency decree to censor the media, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 20, 2020, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society announced at a…
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Protesters, Journalist Arrested Under Draconian Emergency Decree

(Bangkok) – Thai police unnecessarily used water cannon against peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok on October 16, 2020, in violation of international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities acted under state of…
Pro democracy demonstrators face water canons as police try to clear the protest venue in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.
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Authorities Disregard Own Pledge to Allow Dissent

(New York) – Thai authorities should immediately drop all charges and unconditionally release prominent pro-democracy activists arbitrarily detained for their role in peaceful protests, Human Rights Watch said today. On August 19, 2020, Thai police…
Arnon Nampha
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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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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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End Restrictions on Media, Free Expression Before Elections

(New York) – Thailand’s media commission should immediately reverse its decision to suspend broadcasting by Voice TV, Human Rights Watch said today. Taking a television station off the air, even temporarily, is unjustified censorship that will…
Thai authorities suspend broadcasting of the outspoken Voice TV for criticizing the ruling military junta.
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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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Activist at Risk of Bogus Prosecution, Mistreatment in Cambodia

(New York) – The Thai government should not forcibly return the dissident Rath Rott Mony to Cambodia, Human Rights Watch said today. There are strong reasons to believe that Mony would face politically motivated prosecution, wrongful detention, and…
Rath Rott Mony © Private
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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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Use of Martial Law Raises Fears of Mistreatment

(New York) – Thai authorities should release or charge with a credible offense an ethnic Malay Muslim human rights activist who has been detained in the deep south, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities arrested Burhan Buraheng of the human rights…
Human rights activist Burhan Buraheng has been arbitrarily detained without charge in a military camp in Thailand’s Pattani province since August 1, 2018.
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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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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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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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