Thailand: Officials must drop all ongoing prosecutions under the Emergency Decree

Today, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), along with 23 other international human rights organizations from the region, submitted a letter to the Ambassadors of respective countries with a call that Thai officials must drop all the ongoing prosecutions under the “Emergency Decree” in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, following the end of the declaration of the “emergency situation” in all areas of Thailand. 

The signatories have called on Thailand to cease all intimidation, harassment and prosecution of all individuals solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, information, peaceful assembly, movement, and public participation through the abuse of laws and administrative regulations, and to immediately drop all charges, issue non-prosecution orders, and refrain from further charges, against any individual, including those facing prosecution solely for peacefully exercising their human rights for alleged violation of the Emergency Decree.

Purportedly to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, Thailand had been operating under a state of emergency since 26 March 2020, with the executive government having extended the declaration of an emergency situation 19 times since then. During this period, a series of regulations containing several Emergency Decree measures have been periodically announced pursuant to Emergency Decree powers. These include several vague and overbroad restrictions on the rights to freedom of movement, expression, peaceful assembly and public participation.

The organizations signing the letter are:

International Commission of Jurists, ALTSEAN-Burma, Amnesty International, ARTICLE 19, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Asia Democracy Network, Asian Cultural Forum on Development Foundation, Asian Network for Free Elections, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Community Resource Centre, Cross Cultural Foundation, ENLAWTHAI Foundation, Human Rights and Development Foundation, Human Rights Lawyers Association, Human Rights Watch, iLAW, International Federation for Human Rights, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, Manushya Foundation, People’s Empowerment Foundation, Protection International, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, and Union for Civil Liberty.

The letter is available for download in English and Thai.

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