The minions of Thailand’s military junta are descending on Geneva to defend the indefensible. The Nation reports that some 46 officials, “more than any other country,” for its second review before the Human Rights Committee on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR). The next largest delegation has 33 persons.
As well as presenting its own national report, the Committee “provided a list of 10 issues involving 28 inquiries for Thailand to respond to.” These issues “include rights and liberty and security of people, as well as rights to freedom of expression…”.
The 46 officials, including senior persons and bag carriers, are described in the report:
Headed by permanent secretary to the Justice Ministry Charnchao Chaiyanukij, the delegation consists of 14 officers from the Foreign Ministry, six from the Justice Ministry, four from the police and the Labour Ministry each, three representatives of administrative bodies in the deep South, three from the Education Ministry, two from the Interior Ministry, the Defence Ministry, and the Social Development and Human Security Ministry each, an officer from the Office of the Attorney General, Office of the President of the Supreme Court, the Digital Economy and Society Ministry, the National Security Council each and an interpreter.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam, who is the legal and “civilian” face of the dictatorship, “defended the large number of Thai delegates saying it was due to various missions the delegation has to handle.”
According to the report, “Thailand is obligated to provide information on the use of some of the junta’s orders that give military officers’ authority to search or detain any individual deemed a threat to national security.” The Nation has a copy of Thailand’s report and states:
Thai representatives will respond that the country did not allow impunity. If a state official, or someone acting on its behalf, commits a crime, that person shall be held accountable and subject to disciplinary action and/or legal punishment….
That makes it clear that the junta’s “defense” of its “human rights record” is likely to be a crock of lies.
On the use of military courts, if The Nation is to be believed, the response from the junta evades the issue.
As more details emerge, the degree to which the junta is prepared to dissemble will become clearer.