Foreign Ministry rebuts UN human rights report denouncing Thailand
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refuted a UN report listing Thailand among 38 countries denounced for allegedly carrying out “shameful” practices, including harsh reprisals and intimidation against people cooperating with it on human rights.
Thailand has no policy or intention to intimidate or threaten human rights activists, ministry spokesperson Busadee Santipitak said Friday in response to the report released on Wednesday by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The report detailed the level of retaliation against human rights defenders on a country-by-country basis, including allegations of killing, torture, arbitrary arrests, and public stigmatization campaigns, which also target victims of rights abuse.
Being aware of the importance of ensuring protection for human rights defenders, the Thai Government has brought in place many measures for protecting human rights defenders, she said.
Various processes, mechanisms and measures developed to protect human rights defenders and ensure their safety, rights and freedom in both their work and lives are being well maintained, she said.
The Justice Ministry, for instance, has set up a committee for developing mechanisms to protect human rights defenders at risk of being abused or encountering threats, she said.
Workshops on guidelines for human rights protection were carried out regularly, handbooks on human rights protection published and distributed, visits made to follow up on progress in the work to protect human rights defenders whose rights are at risk of being violated, and a report on the human rights violation situation is prepared and submitted weekly to the prime minister, she said.
Amendments to the 2003 act on witness protection were passed into law, while state protection for human rights defenders was included in the draft 4th national plan on human rights, which will take effect from next year until 2023, she said.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has also set up a special committee, headed by the justice minister, to receive and handle complaints about alleged tortures and forced disappearances, she said.