The ICJ has launched the revised Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (2016) in Thailand, together with the Thai Ministry of Justice, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the German Embassy in Bangkok.
The launch on Thursday coincided with a parallel launch of the revised Minnesota Protocol by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
The Minnesota Protocol is a companion document to the UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions (1989), and sets a common standard of performance in investigating potentially unlawful death and a shared set of principles and guidelines for States, as well as for institutions and individuals who play a role in death investigations.
The launch was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Royal Thai Police, the Office of the Attorney General, the Ministry of Defence, and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand.
Kingsley Abbott, ICJ Senior International Legal Adviser for Southeast Asia and member of the Forensics and Legal Working Groups which assisted with the revision the Minnesota Protocol, opened the event for the ICJ by commending Thailand for hosting the first national launch of the revised Minnesota Protocol.
“Investigations play a key role in accountability by upholding the right to life which is guaranteed by Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Thailand is a State Party,” said Abbott. “All over the world we witness impunity in cases of unlawful death because either investigations do not take place or are inadequate and non-compliant with international law and standards.”
“The Minnesota Protocol makes it clear that investigations must be prompt, effective and thorough, as well as independent, impartial and transparent, and we expect that the revised Minnesota Protocol will help Thailand and other States to meet that obligation,” added Abbott. “The ICJ wishes to take this opportunity to reaffirm our long-standing commitment to the Thai authorities to assist them in efforts to implement Thailand’s international human rights obligations.”
The other speakers at the launch were:
- Ms Pitikarn Sitthidech, Director General, Rights and Liberties Protection Department, Ministry of Justice
- Ms Katia Chirizzi, Deputy Head, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Regional Office for Southeast Asia
- Prof. Stuart Casey-Maslen, Project Manager of the revision of the Minnesota Protocol, University of Pretoria
- Dr Pornthip Rojanasunan, Adviser, Central Institute for Forensic Science (CIFC) and member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the revision of the Minnesota Protocol
- Ms Angkhana Neelapaijit, Commissioner, National Human Rights Commission of Thailand and Victim Representative
- Mr Kittinan Thatpramuk, Deputy Director General, Department of Investigation, Office of the Attorney General
- Pol.Lt.Col. Payao Thongsen, Commander, the Special Criminal Cases Office 1, Department of Special Investigation (DSI)
Kingsley Abbott, ICJ Senior International Legal Adviser for Southeast Asia, t: +66 94 470 1345; e: kingsley.abbott(a)icj.org
Universal-Minnesota Protocol-Advocacy-2017-ENG (PDF, English)
Universal-Minnesota-Protocol-Advocacy-2017-THA (PDF, Thai)News