MPs pass act to prevent torture, enforced disappearance
The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the Draft Prevention of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act revised by senators.
Of the 289 MPs present, 287 voted in favour, one voted against, and one abstained.
The draft act will be proposed to His Majesty the King and will come into effect 120 days after its announcement in the Royal Gazette.
The draft act, proposed by the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, aims to prevent officials from violating laws and protect those who perform duties in line with laws at the same time.
In addition, the draft act is also in line with two international conventions, namely International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced disappearance, and Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The issue of enforced disappearances had been brought to the forefront, especially after the disappearance of pro-democracy activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit.
The activist was abducted by armed men outside the Mekong Garden Apartment in the Cambodian capital on June 4 last year. Though the incident was recorded on CCTV, little has been done to locate him.
Wanchalearm, 37, had fled to Phnom Penh in 2014 after being summoned by the junta following a coup in May of the same year.
He is among nine critics of the Thai government and military who are believed to have been abducted over the past few years. Wanchalearm’s case has become the focus of anti-establishment protests seeking to oust the current Thai government and change the junta-sponsored Constitution.