Updated: September 16, 2021 06:29 AM GMT
Parliament members in Thailand have begun debating a draft bill that aims to outlaw torture and enforced disappearances in a country, where rights activists accuse authorities of engaging in both.The proposed law, called Act on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance, seeks to hold state officials culpable for abducting and torturing suspects as well as for making them disappear via extrajudicial means.The bill was first tabled in 2016, two years after a military junta seized power in a coup, but it was not signed into law.
“Torture has happened in many parts of the country but has never been recorded as legal cases because the act of state officials were not considered criminal,” Pornpen said.
Rights advocates hope that the draft bill being considered by Parliament will be signed into law soon so as to help plug a yawning legal loophole and facilitate the prosecution of security forces and officials accused of engaging in enforced disappearances and torture.
“To prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments, Thailand must promptly amend the draft Act on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance to ensure it reflects Thailand’s international human rights obligations,” Amnesty International said.
“[Thai lawmakers] must enact it urgently,” the rights group added.
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