Amnesty Thailand Praises the Thai Authority
for Withdrawing the Petition against 3 Human Rights Defenders  

8 March 2017


Amnesty praised the Thai authority after ISOC revealed it would withdraw the petition of defamation filed against three human rights defenders who made the report concerning the torture in the Southern Border Provinces.


Amnesty International revealed that the fact that the Thai Army withdrew the petition of defamation against the three human rights defenders who made the report concerning the torture by the government officials in the Southern Border Provinces was a positive development for human rights.


On 7th March, the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) revealed that it would withdraw the petition of criminal defamation and violation of the Computer Act filed against Pornpen Kongkajornkiat, Somchai Homlor and Anchana Heemina who collectively made and published the report concerning the torture in the Southern Border Provinces and were charged in 2016.


Joseph Benedict, Deputy Director of Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional Office, Amnesty International, praised the decision of the Thai Army to withdraw the petition against the three courageous human rights defenders and hoped the petition would be withdrawn and the allegations would be dismissed for other human rights defenders who performed their duties in a peaceful manner as well.


“This case reflects that there is implementation of criminal defamation law and the laws which deprive the rights of those who exercise their right peacefully in Thailand, and to prevent the reoccurrence of this injustice, the Thai authority should consider amending or repealing the laws which deprive these rights and improve the content to be in accordance with the Thailand's international obligations,” stated Joseph Benedict.


Such report was made by Cross Cultural Foundation and With Mind Group. It contains information regarding the torture and cruel treatments by the officials of the Royal Thai Police and the Thai Army in the Southern Border Provinces, which includes 54 cases in total. Later in May, the Internal Security Operations Command, Region 4 Division (ISOC, Region 4 Division) pressed charges against the three human rights activists as they are the editors of the report. Amnesty organizations around the world have been campaigning to urge the dismissal of the charges against the three defenders.


However, it is not only these three human rights activists who have been threatened for taking such peaceful actions, but Amnesty also found that over the past years, the Thai authority has attacked human rights defenders, activists, correspondents and the civil society, which is part of the serious suppression on those who criticize the government.