Amnesty handing 7,301 names supporting Urgent Action to Thai government to push for three demands to 'Prime Minister - MoJ' to release and withdraw charges against Anon Nampha, while repealing or amending laws violating people's rights to freedom of expression

5 February 2024

Amnesty International Thailand


Today (5 February 2024), Amnesty International Thailand and the People’s Amnesty Network handed 7,301 names of persons who support its Urgent Action and its demands to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Pol. Col. Tawee Sodsong, Minister of Justice, as a global campaign has been launched for people to sign up the petition letter demanding the release of Human Rights Defender, Anon Nampha, immediately and unconditionally. All charges and all rulings against him have to be quashed. The demand to quash the charges and sentencing applies to all members of the public including children who have been prosecuted merely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression. The letter was received by officials from the Government House led by Somkid Chueakong, Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister on Political Affairs. 



Piyanut Kotsan, Director of Amnesty International Thailand, said that the handing of names of members of the public, Amnesty members and activists from around the world to the Thai government to demand the release and withdrawal of all charges against HRD Anon Nampha and other activists is a part of a global Urgent Action launched by Amnesty International Secretariat based in Longdon, UK. The organization urges the Thai authorities to act in compliance with its international obligations which require that the Thai government must protect human rights of all people including their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and to repeal or amend laws that restrict human rights. The campaign had been launched until the 2 February 2024.

“In the past four years, activists and people who have exercised their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly have been charged. This reflects how the exercise of human rights in one’s own country can lead to a miserable situation as many of them have been arrested, intimidated, followed or separated from their loved ones. At present, more than 1,938 of them have to face such prosecutions including at least 286 children. This is an evitable testament to the failure to adhere to the obligations of the Thai government as far as international human rights laws are concerned. The laws require that the Thai government must respect, protect, and promote human rights of all people to ensure they can exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

In her message to Thailand’s judiciary authorities and the Thai government, Amnesty International Thailand’s Director reiterates that the right to bail or provisional release is a human right and a fundamental right afforded by everyone. This is in line with a legal principle of presumption of innocence whereby ‘every person accused of any crime is considered innocent until proven guilty”. In addition, Piyanut invokes the declaration the Thai government has made to international community that Thailand shall compete in an election of members of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) for the 2025-2027 term and how it has pledged to promote human rights in its own country. Should Thailand want to become a member of the HRC, it needs to respect, protect and promote human rights in its own country as being pledged.

“On 27 February 2023, the Thai government has made a statement during the High-Level Segment during the session of UN Human Rights Council (UN HRC) that it intends to compete in the election of the HRC members for the 2025-2027 term and also reiterated that it would act according to the pledges given to international community to promote human rights in its own country. Such declaration may, however, run counter to the incumbent situation of human rights in Thailand. Should the Thai government want to become a member of HRC in 2024, it has to get prepared to adhere to its duties and responsibilities. As a UN HRC member, it shall be receiving scrutiny from international community as to how it respects, protects and promotes human rights and repeals or amends the laws that restrict human rights of persons who exercise their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It should also recognize the right to bail as a human right as well.”



Therefore, Amnesty International urges the Thai government to;

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release, as well as drop all convictions and criminal proceedings against human rights defender Anon Nampa and all other people, including children, who have been targeted simply for exercising their human rights;
  2. Pending the dropping of convictions and charges, allow Anon Nampa and other activists their right to temporary release on bail and ensure that conditions of bail do not arbitrarily restrict the peaceful exercise of their rights;
  3. Amend or repeal laws which have been used to restrict rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly to ensure that Thailand complies with its international human rights obligations.