Arbitrary arrest and detention must end
Since this morning (27 April 2016), military authorities have carried out the arrests of at least ten individuals in Bangkok and KhonKaen provinces. The raids have been conducted with the seizure of property without informing the arrestees of their charges and the reasons for the deprivation of their liberty. They were also not told where they would be taken to. It was later reported that the individuals have been taken to the 11th Military Circle. As a result of the arrest and detention of the individuals, in the afternoon of the same day, a group of activists and citizens have organized a symbolic action at the Victory Monument to demand the release of the individuals held in custody since morning. The protesters, more than 16 of them, were later nabbed by the officials and held in custody, too.
The undersigned human rights organizations feel gravely concerned about the exercise of power by the government officials including the arrest and detention of persons arbitrarily, without good reasons and in breach of the right to fair trial. The arrests have been made without producing court warrants, without informing the arrestees of the charges or the reasons of the arrests, and without informing them of the detention places. Such arbitrary exercise of power has been taking place time and again since after the coup. Even though in some cases, the military officials have exercised their powers invoking the laws, but such laws have been issued per the absolute power of the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The laws are therefore not in compliance with the rule of law since they have been issued without proper reasons or at the discretion of some individuals or not in compliance with the principle of necessity and proportionality. The deprivation of liberty invoking such power is therefore a breach to human rights principle provided for in Section 4 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim), B.E. 2557 (2014) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The right to life and to body of a person and the right to justice process are a fundamental human right recognized and upheld in both the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim), B.E. 2557 (2014) and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as well as the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) to which Thailand is state party. Thailand is obliged to respect, protect and promote the rights per the obligations and must realize them and ensure that they are not subject to any restriction or violation whether in a normal situation or during the emergency situation.
The undersigned human rights organizations demand that the government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) respect the Constitution and the international obligations to which Thailand is a state party. All the individuals held in custody must be released immediately and unconditionally. The arbitrary arrest and detention must end and the Order of the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) no. 3/2558 which has given rise to the unaccountable exercise of power and the exemption of the officials from accountability and further human rights violation must be revoked.
With trust and faith in human dignity, rights and freedoms and democracy
Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)
EnLawThai Foundation (EnLaw)
Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)
Community Resource Centre (CRC)
Union for Civil Liberty (UCL)