MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Thailand
6.10.2015 - (2015/2875(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure
Cecilia Wikström, Petras Auštrevičius, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Pavel Telička, Frédérique Ries, Marietje Schaake, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ivo Vajgl, Nathalie Griesbeck, Nedzhmi Ali, Philippe De Backer, Marielle de Sarnez, Gérard Deprez, Fredrick Federley, Ivan Jakovčić, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Louis Michel, Javier Nart, Jozo Radoš, Hilde Vautmans, Marian Harkin, Valentinas Mazuronis on behalf of the ALDE Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1002/2015
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Thailand
The European Parliament,
- having regard to its previous resolutions on Thailand, in particular those of 20 May 2010 and 6 February 2014,
- having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, of 2 April 2015 on developments in Thailand,
- having regard to the statements issued by the European Union Delegation in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Thailand on 14 November 2014, 30 June 2015, & 24 September 2015,
- having regard to the conclusions of Council of the European Union on Thailand, adopted on 23 June 2014,
- having regard to the answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission, of 15 May 2013 on the situation of Mr. Andy Hall,
- having regard to Press release of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, of 1 April 2015,
- having regard to the Universal Periodic Review of Thailand before the UN Human Rights Council, and its recommendations, of 5 October 2011,
- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,
- having regard to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998,
- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966 to which Thailand is a state party,
- having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984,
- having regard to rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,
A) Whereas authorities in Thailand have continued to violate many of the country’s international human rights obligations following the imposition of martial law on 20 May 2014 and the coup on 22 May 2014.
B) Whereas numerous human rights defenders have faced criminal defamation lawsuits in Thailand, under articles 326 to 328 of the Thai Criminal Code.
C) Whereas in June 2015, police and soldiers in Bangkok arrested 14 activists from the Neo-Democracy Movement (NDM) and charged them with sedition and violating the Government's ban on public assembly.
D) Whereas the NCPO has refused to provide information about people in secret military detention, increasing the risk of enforced disappearance, torture, and other ill-treatment.
E) Whereas under the provisions of martial law, and later section 44 of the interim constitution, the military can secretly detain people without charge or trial for up to seven days. Military personnel are able to interrogate detainees in military facilities without providing access to counsel or ensuring other safeguards against mistreatment.
F) Whereas Thailand is obligated under international treaties to which it is a party to investigate and appropriately prosecute torture, custodial deaths, and other alleged serious violations of human rights. These obligations apply at all times, regardless of the political or security situation in the country.
G) Whereas the number of lèse-majesté arrests has intensified significantly after the 22 May 2014 coup. As of 21 September 2015, at least 35 people are now serving prison terms for offences under Article 112.
H) Whereas the police and military have arrested protesters expressing disagreement with the Government. These protesters are often tried by military courts, where they could face up to two years in prison.
I) Whereas Thailand was once again blacklisted in a US report for its failure to combat modern-day slavery.
J) Whereas on the 21 April 2015 the European Commission put Thailand on formal notice for not taking sufficient measures in the international fight against illegal fishing (IUU).
K) Whereas Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol and does not have a formal national asylum framework.
1. Calls on the Thai government to speed up significantly the revocation section 44 of the interim constitution and related provisions that serve as a basis for Thai authorities to repress fundamental freedoms and commit human rights violations with impunity.
2. Calls on the Thai government to set a clear timeline for a return to democratic civilian rule through a free and fair election.
3. Calls on the Thai government to ensure a broad-based and inclusive process in the drafting of a new constitution as soon as possible, which should be approved by public referendum.
4. Believes any new Constitution should be further revised to reflect lessons learned from former Prime Minister's Thaksin Shinawatra's manipulation of politics, to reinforce the Rule of Law and put into place checks and balances in order to turn the tide of Thai history away from corruption and dictatorship.
5. Regrets the recent Government of Thailand have made limited progress over the past year in resolving persistent human rights problems in the country.
6. Expresses its solidarity with the Thai people and all families who have suffered the loss of loved ones during the past years; calls on all parties to respect the rule of law and to abide by democratic principles and to overcome the prevailing climate of political polarisation,
7. Reminds that Thailand is obligated under international treaties to which it is a party to investigate and appropriately prosecute torture, custodial deaths, and other alleged serious violations of human rights. These obligations apply at all times, regardless of the political or security situation in the country.
8. Expresses particular concern with the lèse-majesté arrests and prosecutions under Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, which has led to the deprivation of liberty and the imposition of disproportionately harsh prison sentences under the pretext of protecting the monarchy.
9. Calls on the Thai army and the Government of Thailand to immediately ensure the safety of all detainees; continuously provide urgent medical care to whomever is in need of it; allow timely access to legal counsel and family members; and launch a full investigation into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment.
10. Calls for an immediate end to the use of secret military detention and trials of civilians in military courts.
11. Demands an end to the NCPO policy of regularly banning political gatherings of more than five people, with those violating the ban being subject to one-year imprisonment
12. Calls on the Government of Thailand to implement the decision of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which called for the investigation and prosecution of a junior officer implicated in the torture and killing of a Muslim cleric Imam Yapa Kaseng in 2008.
13. Condemns the continued detention and human rights violations of Rohingya Muslims in Thailand and calls for urgent action by the Government of Thailand to break up the networks of human traffickers preying on Rohingya, currently acting with impunity;
14. Demands that Thailand respect its obligations under customary international law to not forcibly return any asylum seeker or refugee and asks the Thai government to guarantee access to proper screening and status determination procedures by the UNHCR for any asylum seeker, including those detained in immigration facilities, who wishes to make a claim for protection, prior to deportation or forced return.
15. Calls on Thailand to respect UNHCR-issued persons-of-concern documents and refrain from detaining or otherwise punishing people who have pending claims for international protection.
16. Rejects the Government of Thailand's claims that endemic trafficking of vulnerable and exploited Rohingya Muslims has been "tackled" and regrets that investigations have now been disbanded; just as new trafficking routes through Thailand are being exposed.
17. Calls on the Thai Government to urgently put in place measures to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and to react to allegations of endemic modern day slavery, in particular in the supply chain of its fishing industry.
18. Calls on Thailand to sign the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol.
19. Urges Thailand to take concrete steps towards the abolition of the death penalty.
20. Strongly welcomes the approval of Thailand’s Gender Equality Act, which signals a more inclusive future for the country’s legal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Notes this is the first national legislation in Southeast Asia to specifically protect against discrimination on the grounds of gender expression.
21. Deplores the treatment of human rights defender Andy Hall and notes that further prosecution of the charges against Mr. Hall could damage Thailand’s international image and violate Thailand’s obligations under international law.
22. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and Parliament of Thailand, the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.