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Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the Thai junta’s crackdown on news and information since the military coup three years ago yesterday and urges the international community to take a firmer line with the regime, which has stepped up online censorship and prosecutions of media outlets in recent months. Yesterday was the third anniversary of the coup that brought the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to power.
Thailand’s junta has failed to fulfill pledges to respect human rights and restore democratic rule three years after the military coup, Human Rights Watch said today. The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), led by Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, has instead prolonged its crackdown on basic rights and freedoms, and devised a quasi-democratic system that the military can manipulate and control.
The number of individuals arrested on lèse-majesté charges since the May 2014 military coup has passed the 100 mark, FIDH and its member organizations Union for Civil Liberty (UCL) and Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) said today. “In less than three years, the military junta has generated a surge in the number of political prisoners detained under lèse-majesté by abusing a draconian law that is inconsistent with Thailand’s international obligations,” said FIDH President Dimitris Christopoulos.
The United Nations Human Rights Office for South-East Asia (OHCHR) urges the Thai Government to halt the practice of arbitrary detention of political activists, and to immediately release six people recently charged with criticising authorities. On 29 April 2017, two political activists - Mr. Danai Tibsuya, a former military officer from Chiang Mai, and Mr. Prawet Prapanukul, a Bangkok-based lawyer - were arrested and detained by the military under the lese-majeste law for criticising the King on Facebook.
The Thai government should immediately disclose the whereabouts of Prawet Prapa
On this World Media Press Freedom Day, the professional membership of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand stands by its colleagues in Thailand's domestic media as they struggle to maintain professional standards and editorial independence in particularly challenging times. The National Reform Steering Assembly's draft Bill on the Protection of Media Rights lumps all 'media' together indiscriminately and misguidedly.
Amidst the euphoria of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus reiterates its call to various governments to uphold their human rights obligations to promote and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people.
Policies and practices developed by ASEAN member states in managing refugee crisis are mostly marked by their changeable, ad-hoc, and optional characteristics. Since most of them are not signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, any policies and practices that do emerge are not necessarily obligatory and compliance is not guaranteed. Moreover, they tend to endorse the national interests, particularly in terms of domestic security and development, rather than to prioritize the interest and destiny of refugees.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a Thai government ban, imposed yesterday, on any online contact or interaction with three prominent critics of the regime – a foreign journalist and two academics – and urges all Facebook users beyond the government’s reach to share content from the Facebook accounts of these three critics. The ban’s three targets are Andrew MacGregor Marshall, a well-known Scottish journalist who used to be based in Bangkok, and Thai academics Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Pavin Chachavalpongpun.
Responding to a government warning that anyone who follows, contacts, or shares posts online with three prominent critics - historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul, journalist and author Andrew MacGregor Marshall, and former diplomat Pavin Chachavalpongpun - will be prosecuted under the Computer Crimes Act, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Josef Benedict said: