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Thailand : Enforced Disappearance.

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  • Thailand : Enforced Disappearance.

    Student activist reveals military threats of enforced disappearance
    Wed, 20/08/2014

    Contrary to what the junta has tried to claim, that all detainees have been very well treated while in custody, other than being deprived of their freedom, a second account of degrading treatment of an anti-coup protester has emerged. A student activist said he was threatened with enforced disappearance and being killed because he had protested against the coup just twice. The story also shows how the media saved him from detention.

    Prachatai earlier reported the first account of degrading treatment of anti-coup protesters by the military. This involved threats of killing and deprivation of water. The story can be read hereWLlA2GJ.jpg
    One of the cloth banner read "The people own the power. No Coup."

    (L) Worawut Thuagchaiphum and friends while hanging the anti-coup cloth banner in Mahasarakham province. (R) Soldiers come and destroyed the banner.
    Worawut Thuagchaiphum on the military's armoured car on 25 May. (Photo from his Facebook account)

  • #2
    Thailand : Photo exhibition illuminates the darkness of enforced kidnappings

    Photo exhibition illuminates the darkness of enforced kidnappings
    Asaree Thaitrakulpanich
    Tue, 08/03/2016

    Fifteen dead-end cold cases of enforced disappearances in Thailand are brought to light through a new photo exhibition.


    These stories read like the beginning of a chapter of Detective Conan or an episode of Sherlock or CSIIf you would like to illuminate (both figuratively and literally) yourself on forced disappearances, applying human faces and stories to this terrifying, institutionalized practice, be sure to visit WTF Gallery & Cafe at 7 Sukhumvit Soi 51, near BTS Thong Lo from 4 March to 3 April. is sponsored by Amnesty International Thailand and the Justice for Peace Foundation.


    • #3
      2014 Background

      Crime of the State: Enforced disappearance, killings and impunity
      Around120,000-150,000 people of Lahu ethnic live in Mae Ai, Fang, Chai Prakarn and Chiang Dao districts in Chiang Mai and Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai. About 90 per cent of the population have Thai citizenship.
      Sila Jahae, President of Lahu Association
      ustice for Peace Foundation (JPF)
      Around 30 cases of enforced disappearance documented by the Justice for Peace Foundation are related to anti-separatist policies in the three southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla.
      Enforced Disappearance in ThailandPolicies that lead to state violenceTyrell HaberkornSystematized crime of the state

      The best-known case of enforced disappearance is that of the Muslim human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit. 12 March 2014 marked the 10th anniversary of his disappearance which took place during the Thaksin administration.

      10 years ago, Somchai was representing Muslim suspects who were accused of stealing weapons from an army camp in Narathiwat on 26 January 2004. He later found out that his clients had been tortured and forced to confess while in the hands of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD). The allegations of torture included beatings, kicking, electric shocks and urination into the mouth. Somchai exposed the torture allegations by CSD police on the following day at a panel discussion in Bangkok which was attended by a high ranking official in the government and journalists. Somchai later submitted a petition alleging abuse to several state agencies.

      Somchai Neelapaijit who was last seen on 12 March 2004
      Culture of Impunity; culture of enforced disappearance
      Image on the top right shows the methong of killing that a communist suspect would be pushed in 'red drums.' Image on the left shows the memorial of Red Drums Killing. Photo courtesy of the Bangkok Post, which was published in October 2003.
      The Red Drums Memorial site in Srinakarin district, phattalung province. Photo Courtesy of Mekong Travelers blog.


      • #4
        2010 : Background

        Bangkok Post : Experts hope govt will sign Convention on Enforced Disappearance

        Experts hope govt will sign Convention on Enforced Disappearance

        • Published: 30/08/2010 at 05:56 PM
        • Online news: Local News


        • #5
          Culture of Impunity; culture of enforced disappearance
          Not much else to say. It's been going on forever.


          • #6

            May 24, 2016

            Laws Urgently Needed to Criminalize Cruel Practices
            ThaiInternational Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The government, however, provided no time frame for taking action on these pledges.

            Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives at a weekly cabinet meeting at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, May 16, 2016.
            Brad AdamsbillInternational Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which Thailand signed in 2012, and to amend its penal code to make enforced disappearance a criminal offense. Human Rights Watch called on the current government of Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha to make these reforms in the January 14 letter

            Brad Adamsrecorded 82 cases of enforced disappearance in Thailand. None of these cases have been successfully resolved. Human Rights Watch and other human rights groups working in Thailand believe that the actual number of such cases in Thailand is higher due to some families of victims and witnesses remaining silent for fear of reprisal and because the government lacks an effective witness protection system.

            Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment are prohibited under international treaties and customary international law. Since October 2007, Thailand has been a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishmentproblem in police and military custody in Thailand. Since the military coup in May 2014, many individuals taken into military custody have said they were tortured or mistreated. Alleged methods of torture include beatings, electric shocks, and near suffocation. The junta has often dismissed allegations that the military, police, or other security forces have tortured and ill-treated detainees. Besides denying the allegations, the authorities have frequently accused


            • #7
              Torture and enforced disappearance in Thailand: the attempt during the junta government to pass a bill
              Thaweeporn Kummetha
              Tue, 20/01/2015

              Note: On May 24, 2016, the junta government announced that it will submit Torture and Enforced Disappearance Prevention and Suppression bill to the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. It also said Thailand will ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The followig story has been published since January 2015.

              Eight years after Thailand signed the UN conventions against torture and enforced disappearance, the Justice Ministry plans to submit a bill against torture and enforced disappearance early in the year. The bill is praised by activists working in the field for including all elements possible from international laws. The bill, if passed, will be the first law to recognize and criminalize torture by the Thai authorities. It will also recognize and criminalize enforced disappearance, even without the body of the victim. However, under the military junta, which itself has allegedly resorted to both means to suppress dissent, one must be very sceptical. (See report of torture and enforced disappearance allegation against /under the junta 1, 2, 3, 4)

              Throughout Thai history, state officials have perpetrated torture and enforced disappearance and never been punished. Part of the reason is the lack of any law which criminalizes torture and enforced disappearance. In fact, some officers who committed these crimes were promoted while civilians who spoke out were punished.

              In 2014, the Army filed a libel suit against Pornpen KhongkachonkietOfficials often use the following torture methods to extract confessions: binding hands tightly with rope, choking, face dunking, kicking, punching, beating in the stomach, beating with a cloth-wrapped wooden bat, head-butting against the wall, and electric shocks. Some methods do not leave a mark: hooding, exposure to extremely high or low temperatures or light to darkness for extended periods of time, death threats, threats to harm detainees' family members, forced feeding or injecting drugs which lead to loss of consciousness

              The ultimate cause of the two ongoing crimes, however, is the lack of respect of human dignity and human rights on the part of state officials, experts said. The Thai authorities never admit that they are involved in such activities. The Thai police reportedly, however, believe that torture is an effective method of crime control.

              Currently, Thai law does not recognize nor criminalize enforced disappearance and torture. The current judicial process and apparatus themselves have caused huge obstacles to bringing to justice perpetrators of these two extraordinary crimes, deeply involving the state authorities. Imagine if a person was tortured by a police officer. S/He would have to start the judicial process by filing complaint with the police themselves. In the violence-plagued restive Deep South of Thailand, where the majority are Muslim Malay, a local person who was tortured and dared to file a complaint would usually be tricked into signing a document not to pursue the case against the officers, or the police would refuse to take the case, or even worse, charges related to insurgency would be brought as retaliation, according to Anukul Awaeputeh, head of the Pattani branch of the Muslim Attorney Centre.

              In case of enforced disappearance, even greater problems arise from the law itself.

              Enforced disappearance usually involves abduction, torture and murder with the bodies of the victims hidden or destroyed. However, in most cases, there is only evidence of abduction.

              In case of Somchai Neelapaijit, the most renowned victim of enforced disappearance in Thailand, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) reportedly told his wife that they know that Somchai was abducted, tortured, killed, and burned to ashes. The ashes were then scattered in a river.

              The Court of First Instance in 2006 found only one from five police defendants guilty of coercion, which is a relatively minor offence. Later in 2011, the Appeal Court acquitted all defendants due to weak evidence. The court also said that it could not be confirmed that Somchai had been murdered or injured. But how could one find evidence of injuries or murders from enforced disappearance victims in the first place?

              Somchai Neelapaijit who was last seen on 12 March 2004

              In the eight years since Thailand signed and ratified the International Convention Against Torture and signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the Thai state has drafted several versions of the bill, with networks of victims and activists working on the issues, reflecting their thoughts in the process.

              The Torture and Enforced Disappearance Prevention and Suppression bill, mainly drafted by Pokpong Srisanit, a law lecturer at Thammasat University, under the supervision of the Justice Ministry, will be submitted to the cabinet around February. If the cabinet gives the green light to the bill, it is likely to be passed by the rubber-stamp National Legislative Assembly (NLA). The bill still has to pass several rounds of review and the version that is ultimately enacted may differ gravely from the current bill.

              The current bill comprises four sections: suppression, prevention, the committee on the suppression of the crimes, and prosecution.

              On suppression, the bill criminalizes torture and enforced disappearance.

              While the Criminal Code sets the maximum jail term for physical assault at two years and for abduction up to 3-5 years, the jail terms for torture are understandably much higher.

              Article 4 stipulates that any government official or employee of the state who commits torture must serve a jail term of from five to 20 years. If the torture leads to serious injury, they may face 10-30 years in jail. If a person is tortured to death, the official will face life imprisonment and a fine of 600,000 to one million baht.

              In Article 5, officials who commit enforced disappearance will face five to 20 years in jail. If the enforced disappearance leads to serious injury, the officials will face seven to thirty years, but if the act leads to the death of the victim, the officials will face life imprisonment.

              The bill also states that any government official who is aware of torture but ignores it, and those who may not be government officials or employees but who commit enforced disappearance as supervised and ordered by government officials must serve similar jail terms as in Articles 4 and 5. It also indicates that any commander who has the knowledge of the act, but intentionally ignores it, will have to serve half of the penalty that his/her subordinates serve.

              The bill also states that no matter what situation the country is in, this law must be enforced -- no exceptions.

              The law also prevents what happens in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by extending the jurisdiction of this bill to cover crimes committed outside Thailand.

              The law prevents the use of testimony and evidence obtained during torture or enforced disappearance during the prosecution process, except in the trial of perpetrators.

              The prescription of the case is 30 years.

              On suppression, the section closes loopholes which usually lead to abuse during detention.

              • Any detention by authorities must be in a place which is declared, officially certified and open for inspection.
              • Persons detained have the right to notify their families, lawyers or any trusted persons of the circumstances of their detention. They have the right to be visited by families, lawyers and friends.
              • The authorities must record names, times and dates, the name of the official who orders the detention and the physical condition of detainees before and after the period of detention.
              • The families of detained persons have the right to demand that the authorities to divulge these records. If the authorities refuse to do so, the families can petition the courts and the courts can order the authorities to reveal this information.
              • If it is believed that someone is being tortured, anyone can petition to the court and the court must hold an urgent hearing on whether the torture allegation is true.
              • The court can also order an end to torture and the release of persons tortured, send victims to hospital and provide other remedial measures.
              • The bill also prohibits the authorities from deporting any person from Thailand, if it is believed that this action may lead to that person being tortured or disappeared.


              • #8
                Thai military cracks down on allegations of torture
                The idyllic south of Thailand has been the site of brutal conflict and alleged torture for over a decade.
                [Dan Searle/Flickr]

                In Thailand, three human rights activists face several years in prison after revealing details of torture perpetrated by the military.

                They are charged with insulting the army. EurActiv Germany reports.
                The military saw it very differently.


                • #9
                  Civil Society Network for Peace and the group of people, whose family members were either killed or injured as a result of torture done by state authorities, read the petition to media at UN Bangkok headquarter



                  • #10
                    Thai junta accused of hypocrisy
                    July 01, 2016



                    • #11

                      Human Rights Watch (HRW)
                      Tue, 30/08/2016

                      Thailandbill to the national assembly that would criminalize torture and enforced disappearances. The government also said it would ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced DisappearanceBrad Adamsrecorded 82 casesSomchai Neelapaijit in March 2004, and ethnic Karen activist pledgedJanuary 14, 2016 letter2014 interim constitution and the Martial Law Act of 1914Source



                      • #12
                        Fate of bill against enforced disappearance under military

                        101 Thais have been disappearedEvery minute must be countedEnforced disappearance is an ongoing offence and state officials can be held criminally accountableFear that the Bill could be dropped or distortedThe exception to the law is Article 44:


                        • #13

                          December 21, 2016



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