Thailand is an Open
Jail, UN Human Rights Committee told
Asian Centre for Human Rights based in New Delhi in its shadow report,
“Thailand: Not Smiling on Rights” (http://www.achrweb.org/reports/Thailand/Thailand0105.pdf)
submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee which is
examining the initial report of Thailand on 19-20 July 2005, stated
that Emergency Decree of 15 July 2005 subverts the parliamentary
democracy and violates the provisions of the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights relating to freedom from arbitrary
arrest and detention, right to freedom of movement, right to privacy
and freedom of expression.
The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) also
stated that the restrictions on freedom of movement being imposed
in Southern Thailand under the Emergency Decree have made Thailand
an “Open Jail” for the non-Thais. The hill tribes, migrant workers
and asylum seekers are required to take permission from the authorities
to travel from one district to another. This makes them illegal
and they become easy target of the traffickers. The policies and
practices of the government of Thailand on the denial of freedom
of movement promote trafficking and exploitation.
hill tribes are “tourist objects” and have no rights as they cannot
travel freely, have little access to basic health care, no right
to land ownership or employment. The citizenship applications of
over 3,00,000 hill tribes are yet to be processed although the government
was supposed to process all the citizenship applications by August
ACHR expressed concerns
that in its Initial Report, the government of Thailand justifies
“extrajudicial killings” in certain situations.
fact that there are no guidelines similar to the United Nations
Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and UN Basic Principles
on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials as
to under circumstances the security personnel can resort to such
extreme measures implies that the law enforcement agencies can be
judge and jury, and take measures to deprive the right to life under
various pretexts”, stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of
ACHR in his oral presentation before the Committee.
The results of this practice of allowing extrajudicial killings
are incidents like Tak Bai killings.
The key issue in Thailand
is the lack of due process of law and rule of law – whether it is
with regard to the hill tribes, impending refoulement of Hmong refugees
without scrtunising their asylum claims or extrajudicial killings
in Southern Thailand. Since the insurgency began in January 2004
in the Southern provinces, over 800 persons have been killed in
numerous extrajudicial killings by the security personnel but not
a single police or military personnel has so far been punished!
The Emergency Decree which exempts the government officials from
civil, criminal and disciplinary actions legalizes the impunity,
the UN Human Rights Committee was told.
The UN Human Rights Committee
has been urged to make appropriate recommendations for implementation
of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.