Target: Thai Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha
Goal: End pattern of human rights violations in Thailand following military coup
Soon after former Prime Minster of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra stepped down from her position, Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that the entire nation would be placed under martial law to quell political conflict and ensure peace. The military then completed its coup and granted Chan-ocha expanded powers as interim Prime Minister. While there has been serious unrest in Thailand for the past year the military should stop human rights violations as this could escalate conflicts in the region.
Under martial law the army is allowed to violate a handful of human rights. They are given the power to detain people without a warrant for up to one week, seize property, and search people and property without a court order. There is sweeping concern from many human rights organizations that the military has already abused these powers, violating freedom of speech and assembly rights. The military has also pulled news stations linked to pro-government organizations off the air, and stopped news reporters from covering stories deemed “detrimental to national security.”
Amnesty International in particular is urging the Thai army to allow media groups to do their work. It is likely that gross human rights violations will result in retaliation to ongoing protest. The people have a right to know what is going on in their country.
It is greatly concerning that the military acted without informing the ministers of its plans. Many feared a coup, despite claims from Chan-ocha that the military was only trying to maintain order. Martial law should not be a “blueprint for human rights violations,” as Amnesty International has warned.
Urge the General to acknowledge and abide by internationally recognized human rights standards. Gross violations could potentially disrupt the peace and order his army is fighting for.
Dear General Chan-ocha,
Recently you declared martial law in the nation of Thailand without consent from the ministers. It lead your people and the rest of the world to correctly assume that a coup was in the works.
For Thai and international citizens alike, this is terribly upsetting. I am writing to demand that your military end all violations of human rights. Media groups have every right to conduct their work, as people need to be informed of the events currently transpiring in their country. I urge you to lessen your control over the people before gross violations of human rights lead to even greater unrest. Please consider your people’s freedoms and their fear in this unstable time.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Roland Dobbins via Wikimedia Commons