Tor­ture bill shelved

New Straits Times - - World -

Thai­land has dropped leg­is­la­tion to crim­i­nalise tor­ture and dis­ap­pear­ances af­ter years of work­ing on the bill, the United Na­tions hu­man rights of­fice said on Tues­day, leav­ing state em­ploy­ees un­ac­count­able for se­ri­ous crimes.

Tor­ture is not a crim­i­nal of­fence in Thai­land. Vic­tims have won com­pen­sa­tion in the past, but per­pe­tra­tors can­not be pros­e­cuted, hu­man rights spokes­woman Rav­ina Sham­dasani told a UN brief­ing here.

“This is not an ac­cept­able state of af­fairs for such se­ri­ous hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions,” she said, adding that the of­fice was in­formed last week that the coun­try’s mil­i­tary-ap­pointed par­lia­ment had shelved the leg­is­la­tion.

“The de­ci­sion not to en­act the bill is also a dev­as­tat­ing blow to the fam­i­lies of those who have dis­ap­peared. They have the right to know the truth.”

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