- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on January 2, 2022
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
- Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 134.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha
Office of the Prime Minister
Bangkok 10300, Thailand
Phone: 66 2 618 2323
Fax: 66 2 282 5131
Dear Prime Minister,
I write to express my grave concern at the ongoing crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Thailand. Your government is arbitrarily detaining and penalising human rights defenders for peacefully protesting and expressing their opinions publicly and online. I am further concerned by the excessive and indiscriminate or unlawful force increasingly used by police to disperse protests.
I find it distressing to learn that prominent protest leaders Anon Numpa, Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, Panupong ‘Mike’ Chadnok and Parit ‘Penguin’ Chiwarak, have again been detained with their right to bail denied or revoked since August 9, 2021. Held in in poor conditions, I fear for their health and wellbeing as Jatupat and Parit have both already contracted COVID-19 while in detention. Further to my concern is the continued indictment of peaceful protesters, including Panusaya ‘Rung’ Sithijirawattanakul, who received further criminal charges related to her peaceful activism on September 22, 2021.
Your government has targeted at least 1,161 people, including 134 children, with criminal proceedings in relation to peaceful protest and peacefully exercising their human right to freedom of expression in the last year. Many are at risk of lengthy prison sentences of up to life imprisonment. Police have responded to protests with crowd control measures that have often violated protesters rights. They have responded with often indiscriminate and unlawful use of force to disperse protests, including firing tear gas, chemical laced water cannon, beatings, and rubber bullets
I urge your government ends this cycle of repression by upholding Thailand’s international human rights obligations on peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and ensuring police use the minimum of force proportionally.
Therefore, I call on you to:
- Drop all criminal proceedings against persons targeted for peaceful exercise of their rights, and release those currently arbitrarily detained;
- Allow individuals to peacefully protest and express their opinions, and do not impose bail conditions on them that may arbitrarily restrict peaceful exercise of their rights;
- Investigate all reports of the excessive, indiscriminate or unlawful use of force by police when detaining individuals and in policing assemblies, hold anyone responsible to account and issue guidelines to police in line with international standards.