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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Thailand, notably the situation in Andy Hall

4.10.2016 - (2016/2912(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Mark Demesmaeker, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Karol Karski, Angel Dzhambazki, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Notis Marias, Arne Gericke, Ruža Tomašić, Monica Macovei, Branislav Škripek on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1068/2016

Procedura : 2016/2912(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
Ciclo del documento :  
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European Parliament resolution on Thailand, notably the situation in Andy Hall


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Thailand, in particular those of 20 May 2010, 6 February 2014, 21 May 2015 and 8 October 2015,

–  having regard to the statement by the spokesperson for the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, of 8 August 2016 on developments in Thailand,

–  having regard to the report of the Electoral Commission of Thailand on 7 August on the national referendum,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

–  having regard to the Statement by the HRVP Spokesperson on the constitutional referendum in Thailand - 8 August 2016

–  having regard to the Thailand migration Report 2014 of the UN Thematic working Group on Migration

–  having regard to the UN 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 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Human Rights Declaration,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,



A. whereas on 20 May 2014 the military deposed the Government of Thailand and proceeded to impose martial law nationwide, forcing the dissolution of the caretaking government and establishing the Council for Peace and Order (NCPO);

B. whereas during the constitution referendum campaign period there were serious limitations to fundamental freedoms, including restrictions on debate and campaigning, and the NCPO stepped up harassment and arbitrary detentions of activists and politicians critical to the draft constitution;

C. whereas according to NGO’s the constitution creates undemocratic institutions, weakens the power of future elected governments, and is likely to fuel political instability, whereas the constitution will allow the military and its proxies to tighten their grip on power and cement their influence in political affairs;

D. whereas on 7 August 2016, a large majority of Thai citizens in a referendum supported the draft constitution backed by Thailand’s military junta;

E. whereas a Thai fruit processing company, Natural Fruit Company Ltd., has brought two criminal and two civil proceedings against labour rights activist and British national Andy Hall in relation to the report of a Finnish NGO, Finnwatch, published in January 2013, called Cheap Has a High Price, which alleged serious human rights and labour rights violations of migrant workers;

F. whereas the Bangkok Criminal Court on 20 September 2016 sentenced Andy Hall to three years imprisonment, suspended for two years and a fine for violation of Article 328 of the Thai Criminal Code and violation of Article 14(1) of the Computer Crime Act;

G. whereas in September 2015, a Thai Appeal Court upheld the dismissal of the other criminal defamation proceeding brought against Andy Hall, which proceeding is currently before the Supreme Court, the two civil proceedings have been suspended pending resolution of the two criminal proceedings;

H. whereas the use of criminal defamation laws, carrying penalties of imprisonment, against human rights defenders reporting on alleged human violations, constitutes a violation of Thailand’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which it is a state party;

I. whereas there are nearly 4 million foreigners living in Thailand, 2.7 million of whom are from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, since 2001 work permits are available for the migrants from these countries, there still are more than one million unregistered migrant workers in the country;

J. whereas Thailand has begun implementing a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the employment of workers with Cambodia and Laos in 2006 and with Myanmar in 2009; under the MOU system, workers obtained job offers and travel documents before migrating to Thailand, but only five percent of the workers from these countries have gone through the MOU process;



1. Is deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in Thailand after the illegal coup of May 2014;


2. Takes note of the outcome of the referendum on the draft constitution on 7 August 2016; is however concerned at aspects of the constitution which are undemocratic and may give cause to political instability;


3. Calls on the Thai authorities to hold early general elections in line with international standards and to allow the presence of independent election observers; insists that it is essential that the current restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly are lifted to allow for an open, inclusive and accountable political process;


4. Considers Thailand's accession to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities an important step towards protection of rights and interests of disabled people in the country;


5. Calls for the protection of migrant workers by the provision of stronger incentives for employers to engage in the regularization process, while enforcing high fines or other punishments against employers not engaging in the regularization process or who are in breach of labour law;


6. Suggests that the Department of Employment and Social Security Office use their databases to identify employers who fail to comply with registration and contribution policies and enforce sanctions against them;


7. Condemns the guilty verdict against Andy Hall as unjust and motivated by both a desire to deter other human rights activists and to protect the commercial interests of Thailand’s valuable export sector;


8. Calls on the Thai Authorities to ensure that its defamation laws are compliant with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which it is a state party;


9. Calls on the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to denounce the verdict to the Government of Thailand;


10. Asks the EEAS and the EU Delegation, as well as Member State delegations, to use all available instruments to ensure respect for human rights, human rights defenders and the rule of law in Thailand;


11. Supports the European Commission and EEAS in maintaining economic and political pressure in order to ensure Thailand's return to democratic governance; reminds the government again in this respect that no progress should be expected on the FTA and PCA between the EU and Thailand as long as the military junta remains in power;



12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the Government and Parliament of Thailand, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states.