Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Justice, not yet

The story may be found in the archive (13/5/2007) of a Karen villager condemned to death for a murder committed 19 years earlier. The trial and sentence were blatant miscarriages of justice, but four years were to pass before the case was dismissed by the Appeal Court. Meanwhile the unfortunate villager, 66 years old and in poor health, was confined to prison. Bail was refused on the unlikely ground that he might try to flee, to where who knows. While he was in prison his wife died but relatives concealed the news from him as he was already in a depressed state.
He has been released, and has returned to his village in the mountains. There has been no compensation paid for the miscarriage of justice and the last years of his life spent in cruel confinement.
Here is his picture, a man who has suffered, and who still waits for justice.

Chalerm would bypass Thai and International Law

 The website of the Phua Thai Party has posted a statement by Police General Chalerm Yoobamrung, that discussion is imminent on implementation of the law relating to drug crimes, to the effect that when a person has been condemned to death for drug related crime, in a court of first instance, and in an appeal court, execution will be carried out within 15 days.
Is the Thai Phua Thai Party not aware that such a proposal is contrary to the Thai justice system which assures the right of all persons to refer their cases to the Supreme Court, and to submit an appeal for Royal Pardon?
Such a measure conflicts with Thailand’s 2nd National Human Rights Programme, 2009 -2013, which includes abolition of the death penalty as an objective.
Finally, it is a measure which is in conflict with International Human Rights Law:
As contained in the UN Economic and Social Council resolution of 1984/50 of 25 May 1984
·        “the deprivation of life by the authorities of the State is a matter of the utmost gravity” par 51.
·        “To determine whether a particular offence falls among the most serious crimes,..., requires interpretation and application of the relevant international law rather than of the subjective approach opted for within a given State’s criminal code and sentencing scheme” par 44.
·        “With respect to particular offenses, the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee have determined that a wide range of specific offences fall outside the scope of the “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty may be imposed. These include: ...., drug related offences, ...” par 51
·        “the Committee and the Commission have rejected nearly every imaginable category of offence other than murder as falling outside the ambit of the most setious crimes” par 52
·        “the death penalty can only be imposed in cases where it can be shown that there was an intention to kill which resulted in the loss of life” Summary 3
The Phua Thai party must be aware that its human rights record, pursued so assiduously in the recent UPR process in Geneva, will be utterly destroyed by such blatant abuse of the law. The proposal must be immediately rejected and the plan of the 2nd National Human Rights Plan reinstated.