Thailand: Bangkok bombing a serious attack on human rights that demands impartial and effective investigation

The bombing in Bangkok that killed 20 people and injured more than 120 constitutes a serious attack on human rights and demands an impartial and effective investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice, the ICJ said today.

“Targeting ordinary people, mostly tourists visiting a religious shrine, is an assault upon our shared humanity and human rights,” said Sam Zarifi ICJ’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific. “Thailand must counter this vile attack with a credible investigation that aims to deliver justice to the victims by identifying the perpetrators and bringing them to justice in accordance with the rule of law.”

“The Thai authorities must also resist the pressure to display progress through hasty conclusions and commit unwaveringly to an investigation that meets international standards and respects all legal and due process guarantees. Only a credible and fair process will provide truth and justice to the many victims and survivors,” he added.

As part of an effective investigation, the ICJ recommends Thailand to:

  • protect the rights of the victims including by ensuring they:
    o    are treated with respect,
    o    receive regular information about the progress of the investigation and their rights in relation to it,
    o    receive all necessary support and assistance;
  • ensure that the investigation hypothesis is not influenced by discrimination or bias based on ethnic, religious, political or other such grounds; and
  • actively seek out and accept offers of assistance from other states including in the areas of:
    o    intelligence,
    o    forensic examination of crimes scenes, bodies and vehicles,
    o    analysis of phone material including call data and cell sites, and
    o    enhancement and analysis of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage.

Thailand is required to effectively investigate the attack, to prosecute and punish those responsible, and to ensure victims have access to effective remedies and reparation, as part of its international legal obligations as a Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), including pursuant to the right to life and the right to security of person.

On 17 August 2015 at approximately 19:00, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was detonated near the popular Erawan religious shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok.

On 18 August 2015 at approximately 13:00, a second IED was detonated near Bangkok’s Sathorn boat pier that exploded harmlessly in the water.

To date, no groups or individuals have claimed responsibility for either attack.


Sam Zarifi, ICJ Asia Regional Director, (Bangkok), t:+66 807819002,  e-mail: sam.zarif(a)

Kingsley Abbott, ICJ International Legal Adviser, (Bangkok), t:+66 944701345, e-mail:

Thailand-BKK Blast-News-Press releases-2015-THA (full text in pdf, THAI)

Photo: Xinhua / Li Mangmang

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