Thai government disputes U.N. claims of threats against human rights activists

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Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd
Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd

Bangkok – The government has disputed a claim by the United Nations that Thailand has implemented a policy to threaten human rights activists.

Spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office, Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said that Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has already received a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the U.N.’s latest listing of 38 “shameful” countries, which included Thailand.

The annual report from the U.N., which also included allegations of ill treatment, surveillance, criminalization and public stigmatization campaigns targeting victims and human rights defenders, will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in a meeting this week.

Lt. Gen. Sansern said that Gen. Prayut has confirmed that Thailand has no policy or intention to threaten human rights activists but has recognized the importance of their protection in order to make them safe and able to do their job.

He added that the PM mentioned some progress in promoting the work of human rights activists, including the appointment of a committee tasked to protect activists, a workshop to discuss the protection of human rights activists and the preparation of a weekly report on the violation of rights, freedom and human rights.

Lt. Gen. Sansern went on to say that the Thai Ambassador to the U.N. will attend the upcoming meeting and present Thailand’s information on the matter.