Statement on the Reprisals Against Anti-Torture Human Rights Defenders
In a statement released today, Civil Rights Defenders joins over 70 Thai, regional and international civil society organisations in expressing grave concerns about the legal action taken by the Royal Thai Army for criminal defamation and Computer Crimes Act violations against human rights defenders Ms Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, Ms Anchana Heemmina and Mr Somchai Homlaor.
All three are co-editors of a report, Torture and ill treatment in The Deep South Documented in 2014-2015 documenting 54 cases of inhumane treatment in detention, launched on 10th February 2016.
The signatories call on the Royal Thai Army to:
- Immediately and unconditionally withdraw the legal action against Ms.
Pornpen, Ms. Anchana, and Mr. Somchai. Such legal action against the
legitimate work of human rights defenders is against the public interest;
- Ensure that no further retaliation is carried out or allowed to happen
in the future against human rights defenders, ill-treatment and torture victims, their
colleagues and families.
The signatories call on the Thai military government to:
- Respect the universally recognized rights, duties and obligations of
everyone and organisations to highlight information about Human Rights
violations and injustices to the public, as stated in the UN Declaration on
Human Rights Defenders;
- Ensure that all persons affected by torture and other human rights
violations receive justice, including first and foremost the right to
complain which must be respected at all times;
- Ensure the implementations of recommendations it accepted during the recent UPR with regard to human rights defenders.