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One Year Anniversary of Wanchalearm Satsaksit’s Abduction

(New York) – The Cambodian authorities have failed to seriously investigate the enforced disappearance of the prominent Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Phnom Penh one year ago, Human Rights Watch said today. During this time, Thailand’s…
Sitanun Satsaksit holds a portrait of her brother, Wanchalearm, who was forcibly disappeared while living in exile in Cambodia on June 4, 2020. 
News

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.
News

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.
News

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…
Voice TV
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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.
News

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
News

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. 
News

Disbanding Future Forward Party, Banning Leaders a Blow to Democracy

(Bangkok) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court dissolved the opposition Future Forward Party on February 21, 2020, on politically motivated allegations, seriously damaging the country’s return to genuine democratic rule, Human Rights Watch said today…
Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit arrives for a press conference at the party's headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, March 25, 2019.
News

Justice for ‘Billy’ Hindered by Cover-Up, Legal Loopholes

(New York) – Thai authorities should immediately conduct a credible investigation into the abduction and murder of a prominent ethnic Karen activist who was forcibly disappeared more than five years ago. At a news conference on September…
Billy Thai Presser 20170206
News

Urgent Revamp Needed to Ensure Credibility, Independence

The resignation of two prominent human rights advocates from the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) is an alarm bell signaling the need for a total revamp of the flawed and scandal-ridden agency. Commissioners Angkhana…
Jose L. Cuisia Jr., chairperson of Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, presents the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay awardee Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand during an event in Manila, Philippines, Friday Aug. 2, 2019.
News

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
News

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
News

Military Prosecutor Drops Case Against 8 Soldiers

(New York) – Thai authorities have failed to punish policymakers, military commanders, and soldiers responsible for the deadly crackdown on “Red Shirt” protests in May 2010, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 4, 2019, the military prosecutor…
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, to pro
News

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.
News

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

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.
News

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…
2017-03-asia-thailand-prayuththai
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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