THAILAND: Spotlight on Torture

A Panel Discussion

7pm, Wednesday 24 August, 2016

Members: free, Non-members 450 Baht, Thai journalists and Students with VALID ID: 150 Baht

On 24 May 2016, Thailand’s Cabinet passed the draft Bill on Prevention and Protection against Torture and Disappearances. Torture and enforced disappearances are now criminalized with higher sentences and improved safeguards for detainees.

On 26 July 2016, the Thai authorities charged Somchai Homlaor, Pornpen Khongkhachonkiet, and Anchana Heemmima with criminal defamation and violation of the Computer Crimes Act.

This charge was in response to a published report by the activists’ organizations (Cross Cultural Foundation and Duay Jai.) They raised allegations of torture against the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Region 4 – an army unit that operates in Thailand’s Southern Border Provinces.

Since February 2016, when their report was published, Somchai, Pornpen and Anchana have faced harassment, pressure to reveal the sources of their information and the identities of the victims of alleged tortures. They fear that with escalating pressure from the government, their safety and those involved in their organization’s work may be in jeopardy.

Speaking on the issues of torture, raised in their report, and taking questions, will be Somchai Homlaor, and Pornpen Khongkhachonkiet. Other panelists may be announced at a later date.

Ms. Pornpen Khongkachonkiet Chair of Amnesty International Thailand and Director of the Cross Cultural Foundation is one of Thailand’s leading human rights defenders.

Somchai Homlaor, is a lawyer, former President of and now advisor to the Cross Cultural Foundation.

Kingsley Abbott is a Senior International Legal Adviser with the International Commission of Jurists’ Southeast Asia Program. Prior to joining the ICJ, Abbott spent several years in Cambodia as a Senior Legal Officer at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal; in the Hague as a prosecutor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; and as a practicing criminal barrister in New Zealand.


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