A GOVERNMENT official yesterday shrugged off a call by a foreign rights group for the release of politicians held in military detention for criticising the government.
By editor on 2015-09-13 Thailand
Govt rejects HRW’s criticism for detention of politicians
THE SUNDAY NATION
BANGKOK: — A GOVERNMENT official yesterday shrugged off a call by a foreign rights group for the release of politicians held in military detention for criticising the government.
Deputy Government Spokesman Maj-General Werachon Sukhondhapatipak said there was no need to explain to Human Rights Watch (HRW) regarding the detention of former energy minister Pichai Naripthaphan and Pheu Thai Party politician Karun Hosakul.
“We have our rules to follow. We enforce the law reasonably,” Werachon said. “Our country has clear rules and we have to follow the rules. This action is not for the interest of any person in particular,” he added.
He also said, “The government understands that HRW has its own context to follow. But international organisations also have to understand Thailand’s context and situation.”
The spokesman said he did not think Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha would feel any pressure from HRW’s latest move.
Prayut had explained earlier that Pichai and Karun were summoned for further “attitude adjustment” after they had repeatedly created a political disturbance.
Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party, which Pichai and Karun are members of, thanked HRW yesterday for their call to release the two politicians.
Pheu Thai’s deputy secretary-general Chavalit Wichayasut said the politicians had the right to express their views and make their own decisions to do or not do things.
Chavalit said he did not think comments expressed by the two would severely affect national security, as had been claimed by the authorities.
“Doing this repeatedly will finally bring a negative image to the government,” he said, referring to the “attitude adjustment” method used by the government against critics.
On Friday, HRW asked the government to release dissident politicians from military detention. “The Thai junta continues to use arbitrary arrest and secret detention to intimidate and silence people who peacefully criticise military rule,” Brad Adams, Asia director of HRW, said in a statement released by the New York-based organisation.
“As the junta tightens its dictatorial powers, Thailand’s climate of fear is intensifying,” he said.
“The junta’s pledges to respect human rights have proven meaningless,” Adams said. “General Prayut should immediately order an end to arbitrary arrest and secret detention, and release all those being wrongfully held.”