The NHRCT recommends to the government to enforce the Emergency Decree only when necessary and to guarantee the rights of the detained demonstration leaders. All parties are requested to be restrained and the Parliament is suggested for mutually acceptable mechanism.
Mrs. Prakairatana Thontiravong, Acting Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT), said that the NHRCT has closely monitored the political demonstration of ‘Khana Ratsadorn’ (the People's Committee) and on 14 October 2020 a commissioner together with a batch of officials went to observe the demonstration at the Democracy Monument and the Government House. Soon after the government issued an emergency decree enforceable in Bangkok, in the early morning of 15 October 2020, then stopping the demonstration to continue at the Government House and arresting a number of demonstration leaders, the NHRCT held an urgent meeting to assess situations with deep concerns that the situation may likely lead to wider deep-rooted social conflicts.
Therefore, the NHRCT calls on all parties to be restrained and uphold the principles of peaceful means and social responsibility as they previously showed. The NHRCT also considers that the announcement of emergency decree allows the power of government to restrict rights and freedoms of people greater than that of the normal situation for the purpose to address exceptional situations which may lead to violence. However, the measures to restricts rights and freedoms must meet the requirements of necessity and be time-bound in compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Moreover, to comply with the spirit of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand that ‘enjoyment of rights and freedoms is the principle and restriction is the exception’, the government has to invoke measures under the emergency decree immediately after the serious situations decline.
As for the demonstration leaders detained by the authorities, the NHRCT recommends the government officials to guarantee their basic rights in the administration of justice without delay including informing their relatives of places of their detention. The NHRCT will work closely with relevant government agencies to safeguard human rights principles and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
“The NHRCT is of the view that taking legal measures may not be the only way to resolve the situation. The Parliament could be the mutually acceptable mechanism. All parties should tolerate the differences of opinions and beliefs and respect human rights of others so that people can peacefully co-exist in the society”, Mrs. Thontiravong finally said.