SUBMISSION FILED TO UN ON RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTEST DURING CRISES IN THAILAND
Destination Justice and partner organisations the Human Rights Lawyers Association, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and Asia Centre have today filed a submission to the UN on the right to peaceful protest in Thailand.
The submission, to the UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of assembly and of association, supports his forthcoming report to the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which will address human rights in the context of peaceful protests in crisis situations worldwide.
The submission focuses on both the ongoing socio-political and health (Covid-19) crises in Thailand. It notes how both have severely curtailed freedom of assembly and continue to endanger those who exercise it.
In particular, under the guise of responding to the two crises, the State has introduced laws and policies curtailing assemblies and associated fundamental freedoms beyond international law’s permissible limits, even in times of emergency.
Individuals have been prosecuted for exercising freedom of assembly and related freedoms e.g. expression, association, and political participation, among whom several have also experienced fair trial violations.
Furthermore, while Thailand has made progress in terms of new constitutional protections for assembly and abolition of the use of military courts to prosecute civilian protesters, significant progress remains necessary for it to conform with its International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights obligations vis-à-vis fundamental freedoms.