6 June 2024

Thailand’s Constitutional Court voted 8:1 today (Thursday) to ditch the government’s executive decree delaying the enforcement of the Act of Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance until October 1st.

The court ruled that the decree was unconstitutional as it does not comply with Section 172 (paragraph 1) of the Constitution.

As a result of the ruling, the government’s executive decree has been unenforceable since February 22nd.

A group of 99 mostly opposition MPs had submitted a motion to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai challenging the executive decree and the government’s claim that it was “not ready” to enforce the anti-torture law due to a lack of budget and equipment.

The government’s decision to delay enforcement was also heavily criticised by both Thai and international human rights groups in the wake of several cases of enforced disappearance of people, most of whom were deemed to be a threat to national security for their anti-establishment views.

One of the victims of enforced disappearance is Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a pro-democracy activist, who was abducted by armed men outside his home-in-exile in Phnom Penh on June 4th, 2020. He has since not been seen since.