THAILAND: Support the Amnesty Law for demonstrators with offenses related to the breach of the Emergency Decree 

A Statement from the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) in conjunction with Union of Civil Liberties (UCL) and Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission


17 June 2010

Public Statement No. 7

Support the Amnesty Law for demonstrators with offenses related to the breach of the Emergency Decree

This statement is pursuant to a proposal made on 14 June 2010 by the Director General of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to explore the possibilities to issue an amnesty decree to exonerate demonstrators of the United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) who are found have committed no serious crime.

The Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) would like to convey our support of the proposal based on the following reasons:

  1. People’s participation in the demonstrations of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) were exercising their rights to express political opinions, which is is different from government actions which ended in violence. Participation in the demonstrations has resulted in the arrest, detention and prosecution of large number of demonstrators as well as non-demonstrators for their violation of Emergency Decree’s terms, which ban the assembly of people, require the abandonment of the rally sites and ban the travel outside of one’s residence; these actions carry a maximum jail term of two years and not more than 40,000 baht of fine, although those accused have committed no other criminal offence. Also, according to the information of detainees revealed by the Royal Police Office, many people, including children are also detained for charge of violation of Emergency Decree’s notification, even though they may not have been involved in the demonstration.
  2. The arrest, holding in custody, and prosecution against demonstrators having expressed their different political opinions without having committed other criminal offences – merely for their violation of the terms of the Emergency Decree – ’s notification is tantamount to excessive restrictions on people’s rights and freedom, and is against democratic principles.


The Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA), the Union of Civil Liberties (UCL), and the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) would like to make the following proposals to the government:


  1. An amnesty law shall be issued and amnesty shall be given to all demonstrators arrested and/or in detention resulting from their violation of the Emergency Decree’s notification banning the assembly of people, requiring the abandonment of the rally sites and banning the travel outside of one’s residence. Should there be any credible facts and evidence to prove that any persons have resorted to any violence means or act that have caused damages to life, body and property of others, which are criminal offences according to the criminal code, they shall be brought to justice under the normal Criminal Procedure Code. This should apply to all those detained in Bangkok and the provinces under the Emergency Decree.
  2. The government is obliged to remedy all damages for people, both demonstrators and non-demonstrators, who were affected or had their rights violated by the authority’s operations in enforcing the Emergency Decree.
  3. The Emergency Decree on Government Administration in States of Emergency B.E. 2548 (2005) must be revoked immediately.


These proposals may help to defuse the tense political pressure by stopping acts which infringe on people’s rights and liberties. This shall pave the way for a more empathetic atmosphere and dialogue in order to make possible the reform of Thailand toward a just and equal society with the upholding of the principles of democracy, rights and liberties.


Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)

Union of Civil Liberties (UCL)

Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)

For more information please contact:


Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)

Tel./Fax no.: +66 2 693 4939, +66 2 693 0682



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Document Type : Forwarded Statement
Document ID : AHRC-FST-046-2010
Countries : Thailand,
Campaigns : Thailand State of Emergency 2010
Issues : Emergency Decree,