Netiwit Chotipatpaisal, a vocal high school student activist known for his campaigns on education reform, last week sent an open letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) calling on them to make a stance on a vigilante group aiming to get rid of anti-monarchy people in Thailand.
The open letter came after Maj Gen Dr Rienthong Nanna, Director of Mongkutwattana General Hospital, last week posted on Facebook his plan to set up an organization called “Collecting Trash of the Nation,” and elaborated plans on how to “get rid of the trash in the nation.”
By “trash”, Maj Gen Dr Rianthong refers to people who “defame the monarchy and those who support, protect and provide help, accommodation and jobs to them.”
Netiwit, who also called on other Thai and international human rights organizations to address the issue, said that such an organization was dehumanizing and would create hatred and social sanctions among the Thai people.
“If such a society is actually realized, Thai society would be full of paranoia and the failure to debate reasonably. Killings may take place, and the October 6th Massacre in 1976 may repeat itself again,” he warned.
“How can human rights organizations be so quiet about this? What are you waiting for? Should you not show your stance to protect human rights, or be the voice of conscience?” asked Netiwit in his open letter.
In November last year, the National Human Rights Commission nominated Netiwit for a Human Rights Youth Award, but he rejected the award as an expression of doubt about the Commission’s true commitment to protect human rights, citing the slow progress on the 2010 political violence and political prisoners issues.
He suggested that the award should instead be given to Tai Prueksakasemsuk, son of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a red shirt activist who was imprisoned for 10 years for lèse majesté, either on behalf of his father or as a youth fighting for human rights.