Press Statement The alleged torture of Criminal Court bomb suspects

Press Statement

The alleged torture of Criminal Court bomb suspects

For immediate release on 21 March 2015

The public statement issued by the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) on 17 March 2015 has elicited gross denials from the authorities. Herewith, TLHR would like to explain to the public that Section 4 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim), B.E. 2557 (2014) provides for rights and liberties as previously held and as per the international obligations bound by Thailand. The abuse of suspects to extract information committed by state officials is definitely a breach to the UN Convention Against Torture and  Other Cruel Inhuman or Degraded Treatment or Punishment (CAT) to which Thailand is a state party and is obliged to follow including among others;

  1. When a complaint of torture arises, the state is obliged to carry out a prompt and impartial investigation.[1]
  2. The state shall ensure that the person who alleges she or he has been subjected to torture has the right to complain and has his case promptly and impartially examined. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation.[2]

Therefore, upon receiving the complaints and given the traces of torture were still visible on the bodies of some suspects, TLHR has come out to demand a prompt and impartial investigation by the state and the examination of independent doctor since the wounds may soon disappear. The complaints of the suspects and the response of TLHR have been made in good faith to ensure a fair investigation. Such a call for examination is therefore beneficial to all parties concerned and in response to the curiosity of society. It is not intended to fabricate a story to cause any damage to the authorities.

TLHR asserts again that the state is obliged to investigate and protect the complainants. Any attempt contrary to that including the threatening of a lawsuit against the complainants who have acted in good faith shall further intimidate the suspects making them too scared to seek any legal remedies. This will lead to a lack of transparency and sincerity to investigate an alleged act of torture and to bring any perpetrators to justice. In addition, such an act is a breach to the obligations the state has toward CAT. It will simply invalidate any commitment the state has made toward the total eradication of torture in Thailand.

With respect in rights and liberties

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)

[1] Article 12 (CAT): Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.

[2] Article 13 (CAT): Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given.

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