Thailand Must Not Compromise on Human Rights

Letter to the Ambassador of Thailand on 18th May 2010[:]


Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Head of Mission of Thailand to the European Communities


Your Excellency,

On behalf of European Parliament Subcommittee I express to add my voice to all of those expressing deep concern over the continuing news of unrest and violence in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. We are all very worried by the news of the use  live ammunition by the state forces..

The wording of the rules governing the action of the security forces apppear to be is ambiguous and as a result they appear to permiy  the state security forces to use lethal force towards the demonstrators. The government of Thailand should do all in its power to avoiding  such a precedent in law or in  practice.

Furthermore, I can understand that additional security measures are required at a time of great tension. However, as necessary as the declaration of the state of emergency at times can be, I urge your government to repeal the declaration at the earliest possible opportunity.

Lastly, I urge you toinform your authorities  of  their obligation to honour their  pledge to establish an independent committee to undertake impartial investigations into the violence by all sides during the demonstrations.

In line with the statement of Baroness Catherine Ashton, the High Representatives and Vice President of the Commission, I deplore the loss of life and I call for restraint on both sides,  particularly in the use of live ammunition.  The only way forward for Thailand is to find a consensus among the parties on building a more inclusive society. This will requires courage  and wisdom on all sides.

I have informed, the President of the European Parliament and Mr Werner Langen, Chair of the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) of my letter so that this matter can be discussed in the framework of our well established inter parliamentary relations .In our sub-committee there will  be a hearing on human rights in Thailand on 15 July 2010. Please accept my invitation to you  to attend the hearing and inform the Members of the European Parliament of the human rights safeguards the government of Thailand intends to put in place at this very challenging time in the history of democracy in your country.


Heidi Hautala
Chairwoman of the European Union Subcommittee on Human Rights