Criminalizing torture and enforced disappearance draft bill passes third reading in Thai parliament yesterday

PHOTO: Prachathai

Bangkok –

Thai parliament voted on a draft bill criminalizing torture and enforced disappearance in the second and third readings yesterday, February 23rd.

The voting was ended with 359 votes in favor, 1 abstention, and 2 decided not to vote. The House of Representatives also voted to include any cruel, inhumane, or degrading practices as criminal charges which would be added to the bill by the drafting committee before going to the Senate for final deliberation, likely in May.

If passed, the bill would become a legal change in Thai law, challenging the state’s alleged practices of secretly detaining and torturing people, especially political people in the country. It would also allow victims’ families to legally file complaints and seek compensation from the authorities.

The rise of the unknown disappearance of political activists has been discreetly going on in the ‘democratic’ government, according to many human rights groups and activists. The latest known case was a Thai pro-democracy activist self-exiled in Cambodia, Wanchalearm Satsaksit, who reportedly disappeared in June 2020. Although pro-democracy protesters in Thailand continued to publicly inform of Wanchalearm which somewhat had raised awareness and questions of the enforced disappearance, no legal action could be taken as well as an official investigation.


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Nop Meechukhun
National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October, 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.