Thai state officials behind 90% of rights violations

By Inquirer.net, The Nation/Asia News Network |December 12,2018 - 09:26 PM

BANGKOK — Over 90 percent of the human rights violations in Thailand were committed by state officials, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) revealed yesterday, adding that it is getting worse.

Human-rights activists said that violations by Thai authorities are increasing as government opponents are regularly prosecuted, arrested and even tortured.

What Tingsamitr, NHRC chairman, said yesterday that despite being one of the first nations to ratify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and having a Constitution and laws that guarantee the protection of the rights, liberty and dignity of all persons, human-rights violation still remains a problem in Thailand.

He was speaking at an event held in Bangkok yesterday to mark International Human Rights Day.

He said rights violations in the country continue because the five key stakeholders – the authorities, citizens, civil-society organizations, NHRC and international human-rights agencies – all have different understandings of the definition of rights.

He said that even though state officials commit 90 per cent of human rights violations against citizens, each of the five primary stakeholders have violated the rights of other stakeholders and created conflicts due to a lack of mutual understanding about where rights end and duties begin.

What said all stakeholders should refrain from violating the rights of others, so the country can go down the path of sustainable development in harmony.

However, Cross Cultural Foundation director Pornpen Khongka-chonkiet argued that the root of the problem did not lie in misunderstandings, but came from the abuse of power and an absence of the rule of law.

“It is clear that most of the rights violations in Thailand occur in the same pattern – officials violating the rights of people. We have witnessed that again and again. When someone opposes the government and their policies, state officials turn on these people,” Pornpen said.

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