ACHR PRESS RELEASE
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ACHR Index: PR/THA/02/06
22 September 2006

UN Rights Commissioner castigated for not
intervening against violations in Thailand

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) castigated the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Justice Louise Arbour and the relevant Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the failure to intervene against the infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms following the military coup d'etat in Thailand on 19 September 2006.

ACHR complained against serious violations by the Administrative Reform Council such as violation of the right to freedom of association and assembly through blanket ban of political party meetings and formation of new political parties and assembly of more than five persons; violations of the right to freedom of expression through the closure of 300 community radio stations in six Northern provinces and censorship against broadcasting of text messages by television stations and newspaper websites; and incommunicado detention of political leaders, including those protesting against the coup such as former Members of Parliament, Chalard Vorachat and Thawee Kraikupt, who were arrested on 20 September 2006.

“The military authorities have appointed themselves as judge and jury and with the suspension of the 1997 Constitution of Thailand, the relatives of those detained cannot even file habeas corpus petitions”. – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR.

“It is in such times of crisis that the OHCHR and the relevant Special Procedures must be seen to be standing up for rights. Or else, silence or socalled “quiet diplomacy” might be mis-construed and mis-interpreted as indifference or supporting the coup d'etat.” – warned Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR.

ACHR urged UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Justice Louise Arbour, Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to intervene with His Excellency King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the Administrative Reform Council to restore fundamental rights and the rule of law including the right to file habeas corpus petitions; lift the ban on exercising the right to freedom of association and assembly; withdraw the closure of the over 300 community radio stations in six Northern provinces and restrictions imposed on the television stations and websites; and release those detained or produce them before the competent Court if there are any charges against them.  

[Ends]


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