The Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP), Mahidol University is deeply concerned over the Thai government’s violent suppression of protesters, most of whom are youth, that took place on Friday 16 October, 2020. The crackdown is a violation of the right to peaceful assembly guaranteed under the 2017 Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Thailand is a State party.
The government’s invoking of the “severe state of emergency” in the Bangkok metropolitan area on October 15 has intensified state powers to curb the dissenting voices and goes against the principle of proportionality. This regrettable act does not offer a way forward as it hampers prospects for constructive dialogue and peaceful conflict resolution.
The Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies thus calls on Gen. Prayuth Chan O-Cha to stop using force and violence to suppress peaceful protesters immediately. IHRP also calls for immediate release of those who have been arrested and for an end of the arrest of peaceful protesters and activists.
Under the current situation where the representative parliamentary system cannot function as a platform for democratic deliberation, the government needs to provide space for people to voice their concerns. The government must address conflicts constructively by allowing all parties, especially young people, to be part of the solutions and to ensure there will be no lives lost in this on-going crisis.
17th October 2020