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Thailand Human Rights

Human Rights Concerns

Under the previous elected government of Thai Rak Thai (Thai Love Thai) leader and media tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra (January 2001 — September 2006), there were widespread violations of human rights in Thailand. During Thaksin’s first term (January 2001 — January 2005), eighteen human rights defenders were assassinated and one was disappeared. Although arrests have been made for some of the murders, many of the cases remain unresolved. In February 2002, Thaksin's government launched a "War on Drugs," which involved the extrajudicial killings of over 2700 individuals who came under suspicion by police and other state agents of being involved in the drug trade.

In January 2004, martial law was declared in the three insurgent southernmost Muslim-majority provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani. In July 2005, martial law was changed to a state of emergency, giving the Thai government even greater power in the South. Since the initial declaration of martial law, a tremendous number of insurgents, Thai state officials, and civilians have died as a result of the ongoing conflict in the South.

Thailand Newsroom



September 28, 2017 • Report

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

With the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis developing on its doorstep, Thailand must take concrete action to reverse its long-standing failure to offer protection to those most in need, Amnesty International said today as it launched a report revealing gaping holes in the country’s refugee policies.

August 15, 2017 • Press Release

Thailand: Activist Sentenced for Posting Article to Facebook

Reacting to the guilty verdict against pro-democracy activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa (“Pai Dao Din”), who was today sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for violating Thailand’s lèse-majesté law outlawing criticism of the royal family after sharing a BBC article on Facebook.

October 5, 2016 • Press Release

Thailand: Denial of entry to Hong Kong student activist a new blow to freedom of expression

The decision to deny Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong entry into Thailand underscores the government’s willingness to suppress the right to freedom of expression and raises serious concerns about how China is using its influence over Thai authorities, Amnesty International said today.  “The detention and deportation of Joshua Wong are yet another indicator that …

September 28, 2016 • Press Release

Thailand: Torture victims must be heard

Silencing human rights activists who highlight human rights violations will not solve the problem of torture and other ill-treatment in Thailand, Amnesty International said today. In Bangkok, Thailand’s authorities prevented Amnesty International from proceeding with the launch of “Make Him Speak by Tomorrow: Torture and Other Ill-Treatment in Thailand.” This report details torture and other …

September 23, 2016 • Report

Thailand: A culture of torture under the military

Since seizing power in a 2014 coup, Thailand’s military authorities have allowed a culture of torture and other ill-treatment to flourish across the country, with soldiers and policemen targeting suspected insurgents, political opponents, and individuals from the most vulnerable sections of society, a new report by Amnesty International said today. The report, “Make Him Speak …

August 5, 2016 • Press Release

Thailand: Referendum marred by human rights violations

Thailand’s referendum on a draft constitution takes place this Sunday against a backdrop of pervasive human rights violations that have created a chilling climate, Amnesty International said today.

August 5, 2016 • Press Release

Kenya: Taiwanese nationals must not be deported to China

Kenyan authorities must not deport five Taiwanese nationals to China, where they face a real risk of human rights violations, said Amnesty International today.

July 25, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International Thailand’s Chair and other activists face jail for exposing torture

The Thai authorities must immediately drop the criminal investigation against three of the country’s most prominent human rights activists, including the chair of Amnesty International Thailand, who could be charged tomorrow for documenting and publishing a report about torture by Thai security forces, the organization warned.

June 26, 2016 • Press Release

Thailand: Withdraw charges against human rights defenders

The Thai authorities must reverse their decision to charge three prominent human rights defenders with criminal defamation and computer crimes for documenting and publishing details of human rights violations in the country, Amnesty International said today.

April 27, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International urges Thailand to release Facebook commenters now

Thailand’s military government is brazenly seeking to shut down debate ahead of a referendum on a draft constitution, Amnesty International said today.