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Thai representatives to defend human rights situation to committee

Mar 13. 2017
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By Kasamakorn Chanwanpen
The Nation

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The 119th session of the Human Rights Committee on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) will hear Thai representatives defend the country’s rights situation on Monday and Tuesday.

Thailand is scheduled to submit its second periodic report for the committee to consider under the article 40 of the Covenant. The article requires state parties to submit reports on the measures they have adopted to make the rights effective.

Besides the report, the Human Rights Committee has also provided a list of 10 issues involving 28 inquiries for Thailand to respond to.

They also include rights and liberty and security of person as well as rights to freedom of expression, which are constantly highlighted by civil society organisations in Thailand.

For instance, the committee requested that the representatives provide information on the use of some of the junta orders authorising military officers to search or detain any individual deemed a threat to national security. 

To this, the Thai representatives provided an initial response in a document saying that the country did not allow impunity. If a state official, or someone acting on their behalf, commits crime, that person shall be held accountable and subject to a disciplinary action and/or legal punishment, the document read.

The use of the Military Court was also queried by the Human Rights Committee , which asked the country to clarify whether military courts could try civilians and, if so, how and under what circumstances. Thailand was also asked to indicate measures taken to transfer all cases involving civilians from military to civilian courts.

In response, Thailand wrote: “Cases involving unlawful exercise of administrative power by state officials are prosecuted by the Administrative Court. The court has the power to order officials to stop or refrain from an act, as well as recompense the damage. The responsibility is not limited to officials committing unlawful acts, but extends to the state agency to which those officials are affiliated.”

The list of issues in relation to the second periodic report of Thailand and country’s replies can be accessed via https://goo.gl/B7nqgI and https://goo.gl/3ndwyZ respectively.

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