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  4. KINGDOM OF THAILAND: MORE AT RISK AS THAILAND RESUMES EXECUTIONS

KINGDOM OF THAILAND:
MORE AT RISK AS THAILAND RESUMES EXECUTIONS

Update info:
26 Jun 2018
Country:
KINGDOM OF THAILAND
Subject:
prisoners under sentence of death
Gender: m and f
Period:
2 Aug 2018
Distribution date:
26 Jun 2018
UA No:
119/2018

Thai prison authorities carried out the country’s first execution in nearly a decade on 18 June 2018. Amnesty International fears that others on death row may be at imminent risk after receiving unconfirmed reports that prisoners have in recent weeks had their applications for a royal pardon rejected.  

Theerasak Longji, 26 years old, was executed by lethal injection at Bang Kwang Central Prison between 3 and 6pm on 18 June 2018. While the execution was announced to the public later on 18 June, Theerasak Longji’s family told a national media outlet that they had not been notified in advance of the scheduled execution and were not given the chance of a last visit with their relative. Theerasak Longji was only allowed one phone call with his wife shortly before the execution was carried out. He was convicted of and sentenced to death for the murder of a 17 year old boy in July 2012.

Amnesty International has received information, which it has not yet been able to independently verify, suggesting that several other prisoners have had their applications for royal pardon rejected and therefore may be at imminent risk of execution. Figures provided to the organization by the Ministry of Justice in March 2018 indicated that 193 out of 510 death-row prisoners had their sentences finalized, including 108 convicted of murder and 85 of drug-related offences.

The resumption of executions in Thailand sets the country against the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty and represents a major setback for the country’s human rights record. The Thai authorities committed to abolish the death penalty in the Third National Human Rights Action plan, due to be implemented by the end of 2018. They also accepted recommendations made at the country’s UN Universal Periodic Review in May 2016 to review the imposition of the death penalty for offences related to drug trafficking, commute death sentences and take steps towards abolishing the death penalty. 

The execution of Theerasak Longji was the first to be carried out in Thailand since 2009, and the seventh since the method of execution was changed from firing squad to lethal injection in 2003. The resumption of executions set Thailand against its own recent achievements on the death penalty. Thailand was close to mark ten years without executions, a development that could have allowed Amnesty International to reclassify the country from retentionist to abolitionist in practice as early as 2019.

Take action

Please write immediately in Thai, English or your own language:

  • Expressing your deep concern at the execution of Theerasak Longji on 19 June and the lack of notice to his family, and urging the Thai authorities to halt any plans to carry out further executions;
  • Asking them to commute all existing death sentences and establish an immediate moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty; 
  • Expressing regret at the setback that the resumption of executions represents for Thailand’s human rights record and highlighting that two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 2 AUGUST 2018 TO:
Prime Minister of Thailand
Prayut Chan-o-cha
Government House, Pissanulok Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300
Fax: +66 2 288 4323
Email: spmwebsite@thaigov.go.th
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

Minister of Justice
Mr. Prajin Juntong’
Ministry of Justice, the Government Complex, Chaeng Wattana Rd., Laksi 
Bangkok 10210
Fax: +66 2 143 9676
Email: jslcenter1@gmail.com
Twitter :@pr_moj @prdthailand
Salutation: Dear Minister

And copies to:

diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. 

UA: 119/18 Index: ASA 39/8635/2018 Issue Date: 21 June 2018