55 int'l NGOs urge Thailand to lift state of emergency

19:50, June 23, 2010      

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Fifty-five Asian national and regional NGOs have urged Thailand, as the new president of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), to take concrete and decisive action to ensure human rights by lifting the emergency decree, the Bangkok Post's website reported on Wednesday.

The UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday unanimously elected Thailand's Ambassador in Geneva, Sihasak Phuangketkeow, as its president for the coming year.

It was Asia's turn and he was the only nominee. It is Thailand' s first year on the council. Three other Asian countries -- Malaysia, the Maldives, and Qatar -- were also nominated as new members to the Geneva-based Council.

The public image and credibility of the Council would be seriously undermined if it was chaired by a representative of a state that continues to impose unduly prolonged state of emergency in the country, the NGOs said.

"We urge Thailand to lift the emergency decree without any further delay and ensure full transparency and accountability for those human rights violations committed during the recent unrest in its capital," said the NGOs statement spearheaded by the Bangkok-based Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM- ASIA) and Hong Kong-based Asian Legal Resource Center (ALRC).

The NGOs said, "We call upon the Thai government to remain seized of the persistent human rights trends such as the rights of migrant workers, the right to freedom of expression and the human rights situation in southern Thailand, with the view that these should not be neglected during the national reconciliation process. "

Source: Xinhua


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