Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul held a press conference today to inform the media about his discussion with Ms. Matilda Bogner, Regional Representative for Southeast Asia of the OHCHR, over the Thai House of Representatives’ recent passing of the amnesty bill proposed by Pheu Thai MP Worachai Hema in the first reading.
According to the Foreign Minister, their meeting was to promote correct understanding of the bill on the points which the OHCHR was concerned about. The agency reportedly feared the bill would conveniently absolve political prisoners and set a precedent for other countries.
However, Mr. Surapong confirmed that the amnesty bill would only pardon those who had participated in the political protest, not those convicted of orchestrating violence. The Foreign Minister said Ms. Bogner was satisfied and no longer concerned after meeting with him since all her doubts about the bill had been answered.
As for the hostage situation in Nigeria, Mr. Surapong said the 4 Thai nationals who have been held hostage are unharmed. Further negotiation with the kidnapper will be carried out to assure their safe release.