World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


10 years after Somchai’s disappearance, family still waiting

Thailand: 10 years after Somchai’s disappearance, family still awaiting truth and justice


GENEVA (12 March 2014) – A group of United Nations independent experts* today called on the Government of Thailand to establish the truth and hold criminally responsible the perpetrators of the disappearance of human rights defender Somchai Neelaphaijit. On the 10th anniversary of his disappearance, the experts said the investigations on the case remain inconclusive and warned that the authorities may close the legal proceedings.

“Ten years after the disappearance of Somchai Neelaphaijit, his fate and whereabouts remain unknown,” the UN Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances said. “We appeal to the Thai Government to continue the investigations on the case, establish his fate and whereabouts, guarantee impartiality during the process, publish the results, and ensure that all perpetrators are held criminally responsible.”

Mr. Somchai Neelaphaijit, a human rights defender and senior member of two lawyers’ associations, was allegedly disappeared on 12 March 2004. It is believed that his disappearance is related to his work as a lawyer defending Muslim minorities in southern Thailand. The initial criminal prosecution against five police officers for robbery and coercion, in relation to his abduction, has resulted in their acquittal, though the final outcome is still pending at the Supreme Court.

“While the State has provided some financial compensation to the family of Somchai Neelaphaijit, this by no means exonerates Thailand from its obligation to establish the circumstances of the enforced disappearance and bring justice to the victims of this serious crime,” the experts pointed out. “We call on Thailand to make more efforts to fight impunity for all acts of enforced disappearances.”

“Thailand must criminalize enforced disappearance in its legislation. Acts amounting to enforced disappearance are gross human rights violations which must be sanctioned in light of their extreme gravity,” the five-strong group of experts said, recalling that Thailand signed the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in 2012.

The Working Group also urged the Thai authorities to guarantee the safety and integrity of the family of Somchai, especially his wife, Ms. Angkhana Neelapaijit, who, “despite the many threats received, has untiringly been seeking justice for her husband and other victims of enforced disappearances in Thailand.”

The Working Group’s appeal was endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya; the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue; and the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai.

(*) The Working Group is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world: Mr. Ariel Dulitzky (Argentina), Chair-Rapporteur; Mr. Osman El-Hajjé (Lebanon), Vice Chairperson; Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France); and Mr. Jeremy Sarkin (South Africa).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

ANZAC Commemorations - Scoop Team Coverage

Nepal Quake Response : NZ USAR team stood down

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says that the New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue team due to leave for Nepal overnight has been stood down. "“Our USAR team has been on stand-by since Sunday and was due to head to Nepal last night. Prior to their departure, the Nepalese Government informed us that they had enough USAR capability in-country and our team was no longer required." More >>

Earlier: NZ Govt. NZ USAR team to Nepal & Fire Service - USAR team leaves tonight for Kathmandu (Image Red Cross twitter)

 

United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news