Updated: Thailand’s culture of torture

1 03 2017

A day or so ago, the Bangkok Post reported on the military dictatorship’s puppet National Legislative Assembly having “dropped legislation to criminalise torture and disappearances after years of working on the bill…”.

The United Nations Human Rights Office and NGOs reported on this.

Because Thailand has long been dominated by the military, torture is not only “not a criminal offence … and perpetrators cannot be prosecuted,” but it is essentially standard practice among the military and police.

Torture as used by the current regime ranges from the blatant use of torture such as beating, choking and electric shocks when persons are taken into custody to deliberately delayed, long, drawn-out and secret trials of lese majeste suspects who are often shackled.

Meanwhile, the “lack of a law on disappearances leaves a legal loophole that means security officials who abduct people and kill them, imprison them or send them to a third country may never be brought to justice.”

The UN stated that the “decision not to enact the bill is … a devastating blow to the families of those who have disappeared. They have the right to know the truth.”

The Post report adds that:

Amnesty International said last year Thailand’s military government has allowed a “culture of torture” to flourish since the army seized power in a 2014 coup, with allegations of beatings, smothering with plastic bags, waterboarding and electric shocks on detainees by authorities.

In the face of ample evidence of torture, the military regime lies that none of this is true.

Update: Khaosod reports that a “senior Justice Ministry official said the regime remains committed to enacting legislation against torture and enforced disappearance despite belief the bill died recently in a subcommittee.” No details provided….


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