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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



August 25, 2020 • Press Release

Facebook caves to abusive censorship requests in Thailand

Responding to news that Facebook has complied with censorship requests from the Thai authorities, Rasha Abdul-Rahim, Amnesty Tech’s Acting Program Co-Director said: “Once again, Facebook is caving to the whims …

February 10, 2020 • Press Release

Explainer: Seven ways the coronavirus affects human rights

The outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCov) that started in the Chinese city of Wuhan (Hubei province) in late 2019 has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). …

January 9, 2019 • Press Release

Thailand: Amnesty welcomes Saudi woman’s refugee protection

Responding to news that the UN have granted refugee status to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year old Saudi woman, and put her forward for resettlement to Australia, Amnesty International’s Middle …

January 7, 2019 • Press Release

Thailand: Don’t deport Saudi woman in grave danger

Responding to reports that Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, faces deportation from the transit zone of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok (Thailand), Samah Hadid, Amnesty’s Middle East Director of Campaigns said:

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 …

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 …

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 …

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.