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Thailand government accused of human rights violations

[JURIST] The Pheu Thai Party [party website] filed a complaint [text] with the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] on Thursday over the detention of one of its key figures, Watana Muangsook accusing [Bangkok Post] the government of serious human rights violations. Acting Pheu Thai Party leader Viroj Pao-In wrote to High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] recounting the forceful capture, and subsequent detention of Muangsook at an undisclosed location. According to Pao-In, although Muangsook has been released, he will be facing criminal charges under the Computer Related Crime Act BE 2007. Pao-In states that those charges are being brought merely because Muangsook commented that NCPO should stop the violation of human rights. Pao-In stated that this in and of itself is a serious violation of human rights.

Human rights groups worldwide have expressed growing concern over Thailand's governmental impunity since it became a military junta in May 2014. In January OHCHR Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called on the Thai government to fully investigate [JURIST Report] the whereabouts of at least 82 people listed as disappeared, and criminalize forced disappearance through legislation. That same month, Thailand unveiled a new draft constitution [JURIST Report], which human rights groups stated was aimed at increasing the power of the military under the guise of clauses intended to promote national security permitting them to commit human rights abuses without fear of punishment in violation of international treaties. In December Amnesty International [official website] called for [JURIST report] a thorough investigation into torture allegations levied against the police responsible for the arrests of two men in relation to the Koh Tao murders. The men, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, were found guilty of the murder of two British tourists in the vacation island of Koh Tao. The defense team for the Myanmar nationals claims that their confessions were coerced, and that DNA evidence linking the men to the crime was severely mishandled and unreliable. In November the UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia urged Thailand to immediately close [JURIST report] a military detention center in Bangkok where two high-profile inmates died in October.

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