Announcement of the UPD Union for People's Democracy
October, 11th 2011
Union for People’s Democracy (UPD)
calls to support
to bring Thailand to a Ruled by Law State
We, members of the Union for People’s Democracy (UPD) – are concerned people from EU countries (Swiss Sweden Norway German France Denmark Belgium) who met because they were fed up with the continuing abuse of people’s basic rights to think and to speak.
In ouir Thai home, governments use lèse-majesté laws known as Article 112 to threaten and to silence any kind of opposition. Thailand is not the country of the smile, it is the country of the silenced and jailed when not murdered opposition.
We are writing to reassure the Nitthiratsadorn group and the most of Thailand’s population that here, in Europe, your attempts to bring about a change in Thailand will not fall on deaf ears.
We support the Nitiratsadorn group's calling for a nullification of the legality of the Sept 19 coup and all the actions taken as a result of the putsch ─ namely, the 2006 interim constitution, the “emergency” creation of the Assets Scrutiny Committee, the Constitution Court and the Supreme Court's criminal division for political office holders, the revocaton of the current charter and amendments of the lese-majesté laws.
The backwardness of the Thai governing style is obfuscated behind the thainess screen. Any time the thainess concept is rised means Thai people have to give up a piece or more from their basic freedom. The irony is unbearable, as Thai means free.
The good news is now readable in the continuous work of some dedicated freedom defenders, like Article 19 among others, and their ongoing well established work served the rapporteurs for the last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session about Thailand at the United Nations Palace in Geneva. UN Special Rapporteur Frank William La Rue found it valuable: he enjoined Thai authorities to get rid of those backward procedures.
The last UPR was an opportunity for the United Nations Human Rights Council member states to put pressure on Thailand to seriously address and redress the severe violation of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information in the country,” said Dr Agnes Callamard, Executive Director ARTICLE 19.
In ARTICLE 19’s submission to the UN Human Rights Council ahead of Thailand’s UPR, the organisation raised the following key areas of concern:
use of lèse-majesté and defamation laws to silence critics,
2. restrictions on the right to freedom of expression on the internet,
3. use of emergency powers to suppress freedom of expression,
4. control of the media by the government and the military,
5. failure of the government to effectively implement the Official Information Act.
Therefore, we, the UPD, take the opportunity to reassure you your Nitthiratsadorn’s contribution efforts to bring non-violent measures to promote awareness against Thailand's illegitimate policies will not be in vain. We support your struggle and join the international movement for freedom and its continuance, until Thailand recognizes their people's inalienable right to self-determination and until it fully complies with international law by ending its abuse of civil rights.