ICJ affiliate the Colombian Commission of Jurists today delivered an oral statement at the UN Human Rights Council, concerning enforced disappearances in Thailand.
The statement noted that of the 81 cases transmitted by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to the Royal Thai Government between 1980 and 2014, the Government has clarified only two (A/HRC/27/49, 5 August 2014).
The statement highlighted the case of Somchai Neelapaijit, a lawyer and human rights defender, who was subjected to enforced disappearance more than 10 years ago but whose case remains unresolved. I also described the recent disappearance of Pholachi “Billy” Rakchongcharoen, a Karen minority human rights activist, who has not been seen since April 2014, when he was last seen in the custody of certain public officials with whom he and his community were engaged in an ongoing legal dispute.
The statement emphasised that Thailand must effectively investigate all cases and provide victims, including family members, withfull remedies and reparation. Enforced disappearance should be a distinct crime in domestic law, with penalties reflecting its extreme seriousness. Thailand should also accept the 30 June 2011 visit request of the Working Group and ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which it signed on 9 January 2012.
Thailand exercised its right of reply to respond to the oral statement.
The statement can be downloaded in PDF format here: Thailand-EnforcedDisappearance-Advocacy-non legal submission-2014-ENG
The statement and reply can be viewed in the UN video archive, here.
A written version of the reply by Thailand (unofficial, the official reply is as delivered in the video above) can be downloaded in PDF format here: Thailand_R of Reply_GD_18AdvocacyNon-legal submissions