HRW on the dissolution

23 02 2020

Human Rights Watch has issued a statement on the Constitutional Court’s legal contortions: Thailand: Court Dissolves Opposition Party. Disbanding Future Forward Party, Banning Leaders a Blow to Democracy.

Preparing the Court’s decision

We are somewhat dismayed that HRW sees the dissolution as “seriously damaging the country’s return to genuine democratic rule…”. Given the organization’s experience, it should be well aware that the  military junta did not plan anything like a genuine democracy and that the role of the Constitutional Court has been to ensure that, working with partner partisans like the Election Commission.

HRW gets it right in stating:

Since its founding in 2018, the Future Forward Party has faced an onslaught of arbitrary legal actions and military intimidation that has raised serious doubts about the government’s commitment to the democratic [sic.] process. The dissolution verdict came just three days ahead of a no-confidence debate scheduled for February 24 to 26 against the government of Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha….

The court proceedings raise serious fair trial concerns, highlighted by the court’s refusal to allow the Future Forward Party to present its case, Human Rights Watch said. The party had made a request to present evidence to counter the accusations against it, but the court ruled that it already had sufficient evidence to reach a verdict.

The ruling violates the rights of Future Forward Party members to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and democratic participation guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Thailand has ratified.

 


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