CIVICUS and various civil society organisations have written a letter expressing concern over the use of the Emergency Decree to restrict human rights and silence dissent in Thailand.
Dear Honorable Ambassador,
We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations, are writing to express our serious concern regarding the ongoing impact of the implementation of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation B.E. 2548 (“Emergency Decree”) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand. We are troubled by reports of the continuing prosecution of individuals charged under the Emergency Decree, despite the end of the declaration of the “emergency situation” in all areas of Thailand as well as the effect of regulations, announcements, and orders issued thereunder.
We urge you to call on Thailand to cease all intimidation, harassment and prosecution of all individuals solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, information, peaceful assembly, movement, and public participation through the abuse of laws and administrative regulations, and to immediately drop all charges, issue non-prosecution orders, and refrain from further charges, against any individual, including those facing prosecution solely for peacefully exercising their human rights for alleged violation of the Emergency Decree.
Purportedly to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, Thailand had been operating under a state of emergency since 26 March 2020, with the executive government having extended the declaration of an emergency situation 19 times since then. During this period, a series of regulations containing several Emergency Decree measures have been periodically announced pursuant to Emergency Decree powers. These include several vague and overbroad restrictions on the rights to freedom of movement, expression, peaceful assembly and public participation.