Saturday, November 19, 2016

Protest letter against Thailand's proposed extension of the death penalty

The following letter responds to a proposal to impose a maximum penalty of death against politicians involved in selling and  buying political positions. The measure has been proposed in a draft organic law of Thailand's Constitution Drafting Committee
"The proposal by the Constitution Drafting Committee of death penalty for politicians involved in selling and buying political positions, is ill considered and an outrage to international law. While the ultimate aim of the treaties in international law ratified by Thailand, in particular, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, is a final abolition of the death penalty, its application is currently restricted to the crime of intentional homicide. The CDC appears totally unaware of the implications of international law, and considers the death penalty as a game counter which may be cast for whatever reason. The death penalty for crime less than intentional homicide is offensive to our international obligations. Besides, the death penalty is not effective in controlling crime. But most important of all, it offends against the epic Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which lays the standard for democratic justice in our modern world, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”.
The facile attempt to invoke the death penalty is a symptom of the decay of the Thai justice system where submission of civilians to military courts, and invocation of the notorious Article 44 have established abuse of democratic principle. Even the protest of Mr. Peerasak Porjit and others against imposition of the penalty are poorly founded on the basis that the “death penalty has been abolished in several countries” is a massive understatement of the status of worldwide opposition to capital punishment. The death penalty is being rejected as abuse of the most basic human right, and, also, for its failure as a legal sanction. There are no short cuts to a working democracy; corruption must be ended by education,  and participation of people in the function of government.
Danthong Breen, Union for Civil Liberty"
Letter to Bangkok Post, 19th November 2016


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