[JURIST] Prisons in Thailand are failing to meet international standards, according to a report [text, PDF] published Tuesday by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) [advocacy website]. The report discussed how Thailand has the sixth highest prison population in the world and a host of other problems such as severe overcrowding, highest incarcerated population of women, “[i]nadequate access to medical treatment, insufficient food and potable water, and poor sanitation.” Many of these conditions have existed for some time but have reportedly shown no signs of improvement since the military coup in 2014. In fact, FIDH claims the prisons have become even more difficult to access.
Human rights groups worldwide have expressed growing concern over violations in Thailand since the military junta came to power in May 2014. Last month Thailand’s National Reform Steering Committee, proposed a new law stating that Thai officials convicted of corruption involving more than 1 billion baht (USD $28 million) would be eligible [JURIST report] for the death penalty. In December Thailand’s parliament passed [JURIST report] a controversial cyber-crimes bill that gave the government the right to obtain user data without court approval. In September Thailand’s Bangkok South Criminal Court found [JURIST report] British labor rights activist Andy Hall guilty of criminal defamation and violating cyber crime laws. About a week earlier the same month Thailand’s military government announced [JURIST report] that it will prosecute cases concerning national security and “royal insult” in civilian courts, as opposed to military courts where the cases have been tried since 2014. In August Thailand passed a new constitution [JURIST report] by referendum vote, drafted by a military-appointed counsel and feared to be another step in entrenching military control of the nation.